A conservative legal group spearheaded by former Trump staff lodged a complaint against Kellogg’s “woke” practices. Here’s the full story.
A Legal Battle Brews
In what’s emerging as a turbulent period for global corporations, former Trump aide Stephen Miller’s legal group, America First Legal, lodged a formal complaint against the renowned cereal brand Kellogg Co. The cause? The cereal giant’s “woke” initiatives surrounding gender equality and diversity.
America First Legal Foundation’s senior counselor, Reed D. Rubinstein, conveyed the group’s grievances in a letter directed at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Accusations of Illegal Discrimination
He stated, “Kellogg’s employment practices are unlawfully based on ‘equity,’ which is a euphemism for illegal discrimination.”
Challenging Gender Equality
The legal group spearheaded by Miller alongside ex-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows – created to combat “the radical activist left” – pinpointed several areas of concern.
Kellogg’s 50/50 Management Split Raises Concerns
Among them, Kellogg’s commitment to achieving gender equality, specifically a 50/50 split in its global management roles by 2025, and an exclusive leadership development initiative catering solely to women.
Racial Favoritism Controversy
But the critique didn’t stop at gender. America First Legal also shone a light on Kellogg’s “Chef in Residence” program, alleging it leans heavily toward racial favoritism.
Exclusive Program for Black or African American Chefs
As Rubinstein emphasized, the program appears to exclusively admit Black or African American chefs, potentially sidelining candidates of other races who could be equally qualified.
Strategic Shift in Branding
Broadening their argument, America First Legal denounced what they perceived as Kellogg’s strategic shift in branding.
Critique of LGBTQ+ Representation
They drew attention to cereal boxes embossed with rainbow heart-shaped cereals, symbols closely tied with LGBTQ+ representation, and mascots such as Tony the Tiger appearing at high-profile events alongside known transgender activists like Dylan Mulvaney.
From Family-Centric to Politicized Marketing
The overarching sentiment from America First Legal, as detailed in their letter to Kellogg’s CEO Steven Cahillane, is a belief that Kellogg’s has distanced itself from its traditionally family-centric marketing approach.
America First’s Legal Accusations
Instead, they argue, the company has dived headfirst into a politicized and sexualized marketing narrative, mirroring the tactics of other corporations.
Corporate Values Clash
“Kellogg’s is yet another big corporation that will break the law and hurt its shareholders’ interests to serve the twisted woke ideology of its officers and directors; like Disney, Budweiser, and Target, Kellogg’s management has shown nothing but contempt and disdain for American families and American workers.” the legal group wrote on social media.
As would be expected, Kellogg’s was swift in its response. They expressed their dedication to mirroring the diversity of their consumer base and pledged a commitment to comply with existing employment laws.
“Our Aspiration Is to Better Reflect the Diversity of Our Consumers”
A statement from the brand read: “At Kellogg, our aspiration is to better reflect the diversity of our consumers and to strengthen our inclusive culture. We are committed to compliance with all applicable employment laws, and we have policies in place that prohibit workplace discrimination.”
EEOC in the Spotlight
The ball is now in the court of the EEOC, an organization that investigates employment discrimination claims. While they acknowledged the receipt of the letter from America First Legal, they refrained from commenting further.
As spokesperson Brandalyn Bickner elaborated, federal law maintains strict confidentiality concerning possible charges made to the EEOC.
Conservative Opposition to Corporate ‘Wokeness’ Gains Momentum
This move against Kellogg’s isn’t isolated. Conservative factions have increasingly rallied against major corporations in recent times, taking issue with policies and programs they brand as “woke.”
Target in the Crosshairs
America First Legal’s complaint to Kellogg’s comes shortly after they initiated legal action against Target.
As reported by Reuters, the suit was filed on behalf of an investor, alleging that Target “misrepresented the adequacy of its risk monitoring” in the wake of backlash over its LGBTQ-themed products.
Traditional Values vs. Progressive Outlook
These events signal a broader societal debate that pits traditional values against a more progressive, inclusive outlook.
Kellogg’s and the Evolving Consumer Landscape
As this situation continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how brands like Kellogg’s, deeply woven into the fabric of American society, navigate the challenge of aligning corporate values with an ever-evolving consumer landscape.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Roman Samborskyi. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.