CNN did not publish story on gender of Rice Krispies mascot
CLAIM: CNN reported that the cereal maker Kellogg’s announced that one of the mascots for its Rice Krispies cereal is transgender.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. Social media posts used a fabricated image to spread this false claim. The Kellogg Co. said it has not made any such announcement and a CNN spokesperson confirmed the image was fake.
THE FACTS: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts this week featured an image made to look like an online CNN story about the popular Kellogg’s cereal Rice Krispies.
“Kellogg’s spokesperson announces Rice Krispie mascot ‘Pop’ is now a trans woman,” read a fake headline that misspelled the famous cereal brand, Rice Krispies. The image was edited to look like a real CNN story published May 20.
While some social media users spread the image as a joke, others believed the fake story and expressed outrage in response.
A search of CNN’s website found no legitimate reporting that matched the image. Emily Kuhn, senior director of communications at CNN Digital Worldwide, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the image was fabricated and no such story had been published by the cable news network.
Kellogg’s spokesperson Kris Bahner also confirmed the company had not made any such announcement.
“We have made no changes to the Rice Krispies mascots, Snap Crackle and Pop,” Bahner said in an emailed statement.
In May 2021, Kellogg’s announced a collaboration with the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD that involved a social media challenge and a new cereal called “Together With Pride.” The company’s announcement voiced support for transgender and nonbinary communities but did not identify any Kellogg’s mascots as transgender.
This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.