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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 14 - Volume 42 Issue 46
Tony the Tiger comes out - 'That's grrrrreat!'
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Tony the Tiger comes out - 'That's grrrrreat!'

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Is Tony the Tiger Gay?

That's a rhetorical question, of course, because advertising mascots don't have sex, but the beloved Frosted Flakes icon does appear in a new series of Kellogg's ads urging LGBT customers to 'Wear your stripes with Pride!'

The ads appeared in Georgia media markets in October, marking Kellogg's sponsorship of the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival.

'At Kellogg, we're evolving culture that respects and accepts employees' sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression so that all employees can be authentic and fully engaged,' the text of the ad says.

Predictably, Tony's guest appearance in the Atlanta Pride Guide ad had anti-Gay bigots fuming. The American Family Association called for a boycott of Kellogg's products.

In 2012, the cereal giant was also the target of a boycott called by Catholic League head Bill Donohue. Donohue was incensed when Kellogg's sponsored Jon Stewart's Daily Show, an 'anti-Catholic' production, according to Donohue.

'Change the channel or turn off the TV,' Kellogg responded to his complaints.

Ironically, the Kellogg company was founded by Seventh Day Adventist brothers Will Keith Kellogg and John Harvey Kellogg to promote their religion's dietary beliefs. In addition to being pro-vegetarian, Adventists were - and remain - rigidly anti-Gay.

They are also anti-sugar, and the Kellogg brothers parted ways on the issue of adding sugar to their breakfast cereals. Will, who thought sweet cereals would sell better, went on to lead the Kellogg Company. John ran an Adventist sanitarium that specialized in a whole foods diet and yogurt enemas.

In a second irony, C.W. Post, the founder of Post Cereals and later General Foods - one of Will Kellogg's biggest competitors - was cured of depression at John Harvey Kellogg's sanitarium, adopted his food doctrines, and founded his own cereal company to promote healthy eating a la Kellogg.

Kellogg's is not the only cereal company to reach out to the LGBT community. General Mills' Cheerios also launched Gay-friendly commercials in October, starring a Canadian Gay couple and their kids. General Mills Lucky Charms also celebrated Pride for the past two years with an ad campaign featuring rainbow marshmallows.

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