An MSNBC employee was fired for tweeting Wednesday about a Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial family.
DAD: "You know how our family has Daddy and Mommy?"
GRACIE: "And me!"
DAD: "Yeah, that's right. Pretty soon, you're gonna have a baby brother." (Via Cheerios)
So what was the tweet heard 'round the web? Well, it's since been deleted, but of course many outlets including The Washington Post have a screengrab. "Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new Cheerios ad (with a) biracial family."
That tweet was deleted just a couple hours later, replaced with these two that express the network's regret and apologize for the dig, stressing that "it does not reflect MSNBC's position." (Via Twitter / @MSNBC)
The media attention prompted MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe to call the tweet "dumb" and "offensive." (Via Twitter / @Richard Wolffe)
Still, Politico called out MSNBC for "trolling." The Republican National Convention threatened to severe ties with the news network until MSNBC made a public apology Thursday afternoon. (Via CNN)
The ad, called "Gracie," is a sequel to a spot Cheerios ran last May featured the same biracial family. That commercial caused a lot of negative backlash.
As Slate reports, "The ad brought the racists out: From YouTube to Facebook to Reddit, insensitive jokes and racist rants crowded out—at least temporarily—the positive responses to the ad."
In fact, some news outlets like The Huffington Post speculate MSNBC's tweet could have been referring to the past backlash, which was so heated that the original ad's YouTube comments section was shut down.
That ad even sparked New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to send an email to his campaign supporters with this picture of him, his wife and his son sharing a box of the cereal around his kitchen table. (Via New York Daily News)
Despite the web being all a-Twitter over "Gracie," the ad is set to air during the Super Bowl this Sunday.