Did the Kellogg Company announce that Pop, one of the cartoon mascots for the company's Rice Krispies cereal, was rebranded as a transgender character? No, that's not true: A Kellogg spokesperson confirmed with Lead Stories that the claim is false. Also, a supposed screenshot of a CNN article that reported on the change does not show a real CNN article.
The claim appeared in an Instagram post on May 21, 2022. The post features what appears to be a screenshot of an article from CNN published on May 20, 2022, and titled "Kellogg's spokesperson announces Rice Krispie mascot 'Pop' is now a trans woman." The caption of the post reads:
Pop tho.... What's your thoughts...
This is how the post appeared on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue May 24 15:47:30 2022 UTC)
In an email sent to Lead Stories on May 24, 2022, Kris Bahner, a Kellogg spokesperson, told us:
We have made no changes to the Rice Krispies mascots, Snap Crackle and Pop.
The "screenshot" of the CNN "article" used in the Instagram post includes a byline featuring CNN journalists Helen Regan and Andrew Raine. Neither of the journalists' pages features the Rice Krispies story. Lead Stories searched CNN.com for "Kellogg's spokesperson announces Rice Krispie mascot 'Pop' is now a trans woman," "Kellogg's Rice Krispies" and "Kellogg's Pop." None of the results matched the "article" from the "screenshot" used in the Instagram post.
There is also a stylistic inconsistency in the headline of the "article." In the headline, "Pop" is referred to inside double quotation marks, but other CNN stories use single quotation marks for quotes, phrases or names in headlines. Screenshots of examples are included below:
(Source: CNN screenshot taken on Tue May 24 18:05:33 2022 UTC)
(Source: CNN screenshot taken on Tue May 24 18:07:50 2022 UTC)
(Source: CNN screenshot taken on Tue May 24 18:15:12 2022 UTC)