The Instigator
2Sense
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TheLastEmperor
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Was the reaction to the Cheerios Interracial commercial an overreaction?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,785 times Debate No: 43092
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (0)

 

2Sense

Con

overreaction:
an excessive reaction; a reaction with inappropriate emotional behavior

The Interracial Cheerios commercial that aired earlier this year sparked outrage and controversy due to it featuring a family that had an interracial couple and a biracial child. Was this response warranted, and why?

My position is that it was unnecessary for the well-meaning commercial to become the controversy it became and for it to receive such a negative response. I do not fully understand the reasons why it sparked outrage, and I expect my opponent to provide explanations and reasoning behind the negative response. Overall, I will be defending the commercial and its content.

Here are my two cents:

1) The Cheerios commercial in question was innocent and well-meaning
2) The Cheerios company was correct in allowing the ad to continue to air
3) Interracial relationships in general should not be cause for controversy.
4) Interracial relationships and interracial families should perhaps be more commonly portrayed on national television and other forms of media, so that the concept will become more familiar, and thus more acceptable.

The link to the commercial is here:
https://www.youtube.com...

First round will be case/acceptance. I look forward to reading my opponent's viewpoints. Best of luck.

Sources:
1) http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
2) https://www.youtube.com...
TheLastEmperor

Pro

I accept this challenge, but before I make my case let me state couple of things

1.Good Luck
2. This is my 1st debate so bear with me
3.I am discarding any and all bias and past experience I have concerning this issue, in order to objectively address "ALL THE ASPECTS" of the commercial, in order to determine whether the reaction was an overreaction.
4.It would"ve made much more sense if the resolution was "was the overreaction justified?" rather than "was that an overreaction", either way I will address the exact resolution that was posted.

In order to simplify this ordeal, let"s pretend that the dissenters are all Americans. The question is stacked in your favor and it"s only fair that u give me some leeway.

Reasons (as to why u should make this an "American issue")
1.Let's be honest, most of the dissenters are American
2.General Mills is an American company
3.The actors spoke in an "American accent"
So given all this I hope u can accept that I want to turn this into an "American issue," this will make the debate less one-sided (for who I wonder) and much more fun.

Case: I will prove that the cheerios snafu doesn't constitute "overreaction"
First of all lets address the

Context

Advertisements, commercials in particular, are repulsive and vile. As an individual American I hate it, and guess what, majority of us feel the same way it, they call it tax for entertainment and that is exactly right. One study states "Sixty five percent said they believed that they "are constantly bombarded with too much advertising"", why look so far, don"t u hate ads well?

So what do people do when they dislike ads or anything for that matter? Usually they find a forum to express their distaste.

I was watching "Monday night football" and they had a Harley Davidson ad, since I love cars and hate bikes, I hated that commercial so I told my brother exactly that ( may be someone else complained to their brother that they hated the commercial, but it was because the music was bad).

A movie reviewer doesn"t like the plot of the movie, so he/she writes a negative review( a different reviewer doesn"t like the main character so they write a negative review).
I didn"t like the new "theamazingatheist" video because I didn"t like the subject matter ,so disliked it and typed "this sucks"(someone else might"ve thought that the host was snobby so he did the same thing I did).

What I am trying to get at is that many people hate the same thing for different reasons. So every tangible thing that has detractors and supporters has people loving and hating it for different reasons. The cheerios ad is not an exception.

Next lets address the

Statistics

The YouTube video has approximately, 5 million view, 74k likes, and 3k dislikes. Ninety seven percent of the people that watched the video liked it (-.-), three percent disliked it, that isn"t an "overreaction" that"s perfectly normal. The average like to dislike ratio of a YouTube video that has surpassed 1 million views is in the vicinity of 24: 1 but I think you meant the "reaction of the dissenters", at least that"s how I interpreted the resolution.

Now lets address the

Detractors

So the detractors, as I stated before, they come from all walks of life. As you so eagerly pointed out,
we have:
The bigot : who is against interracial couples.
The organic nut : who is against GMO products, yes honey nut cheerios don"t label GMO"s,
The concerned parent :Glamorizing such mischievous ( albeit she was misled) acts makes their kids do such acts as well
The critical adult : who thinks that sleeping and not realizing that your daughter is pouring cheerios on you constitutes bad parenting.
The furious teacher : that thinks saying " says here cheerios removes cholesterol, that's heart healthy", without researching the pros and cons of cheerios is bad parenting/teaching
The film critic ( such as myself) : that think that the video had poor camera work and the acting was bad.
The little girls that are jealous at the fact that this particular girl got the role, and boys that think the girl is ugly.

The List goes on and on. The thing to note here is that out of the 3% that dissented, you only focused on the bigot ( yes they were the loudest, but they were only a small percentage with a small percentage).

Finally lets address

Your Claims

Was the reaction to the cheerios commercial overreaction.
No, since the YouTube stats are normal, 97% of the viewers liked it and that the bigots were only a small percentage of the 3%( that is not an overreaction in the slightest)

I expect my opponent to provide explanations and reasoning behind the negative response

Okay to name a few, disagreement with General mill's policy regarding GMO's, bad parenting, bad teaching, bigotry, bad filmmaking, bad acting, jealousy, glamorization of mischievous behavior (directed towards impressionable kids).

Overall, I will be defending the commercial and its content.

go right ahead
===================================================================================================
source :
http://www.jrosenfield.com...
http://www.socialbakers.com...

let me restate something :
I am discarding any and all bias and past experience I have concerning this issue, in order to objectively address "ALL THE ASPECTS" of the commercial, in order to determine whether the reaction was an overreaction.

I would address your 2 cents but if you reread your question you will find that it [ 2 cents] is irrelevant and that your 2 cents doesn't make 2 much sense (<.<).
Debate Round No. 1
2Sense

Con

I appreciate my opponent's witty response to this topic, and I believe he has brought up some good points.

I also appreciate the fact that my opponent tried to edit my choice of wording for the resolution as well as question the relevance of the points I brought up to support that resolution. My opponent, however, may have gotten a little ahead of himself, for I believe my question and the points brought up to support my position make sense and are contextually relevant in terms of the purpose of this debate.

My questioning if something is an overreaction is the same as questioning whether the reaction is appropriate or not. In this case, the reaction was controversy, and in some cases, outcry and anger. Keep in mind that the question was not "Was the commercial controversial?" The question is, "Should it have become controversial?" The ad was covered in news media, discussed in talk shows, and became a major point of argument in forums across the internet. And yes, on YouTube, most responses were favorable (depending on what video you watched anyway), but that's just YouTube. Despite whether the majority of people agreed or disagreed with the content of the commercial, the reason why the ad got so much attention in the first place is because people who watched it on TV were surprised, shocked, and perhaps angered by its content, and ultimately had a big reaction towards it. And that reaction built and built until it had controversy surrounding it.

The commercial did not become a controversial issue because of the cereal being marketed or the type of furniture and props being used. The commercial became controversial because of the people in it, more specifically, the people who portrayed an interracial relationship and who had a biracial child. It was the interracial content that spurred controversy. Just to respond to your point about people hating and liking different ads and expressing their responses to them, I am not asking if people should or should not have reacted to the Cheerios commercial. I mean, we're humans and we all have our viewpoints and emotional responses to certain things, so of course it's a given that some people were going to react to the interracial couple in the commercial.

But what I'm ultimately asking is that should it have become a collective reaction of the nation? Should the presence of interracial relations, particularly in something as harmless as a Cheerios commercial, warrant such a reaction? Should interracial relations really be such a concern in this day and age that it causes such uproar amongst the masses? And if it shouldn't be a concern, was the reaction to the Interracial Cheerios commercial appropriate, or was the reaction to the commercial an overreaction?

Some people will say that it was an overreaction, and others will say that it wasn't and that the reaction to the interracial family was perfectly appropriate, which means to them, it's appropriate to make controversy out of content that portrays interracial relationships and the biracial families that result from them.

Thus, my two cents, or rather my main arguing points.

In terms of this being an "American issue" I certainly agree that this an American issue, and perhaps the response that commercial caused is something mostly unique to America, though that's a different topic.

I doubt that my opponent's questioning the suggestion of adjusting the question to "Was the overreaction justified?" was a critique on my grammatical abilities. And, as he pointed out, the odds would be in my favor if this was in fact the question I was trying to ask, so I am wondering if my opponent already disagrees with the reaction to the commercial. And if he does, then I am debating the wrong opponent. If he does agree, or just wishes to defend the reaction to the commercial, then I hope that we can continue the debate as planned.

I apologize if the purpose of this debate was not clear to my opponent. Since he chose not to address the points made in the first round--whether because of misunderstanding, or a lack of clear communication of the debate's purpose on my part--I will give him the opportunity to address them now in the second round as well as respond to the additional points made in this round.

Sources:
1) https://www.youtube.com...
2) https://www.youtube.com...
3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
TheLastEmperor

Pro

<--:3

I would like to express my gratitude towards my opponent
For:

Appreciating my actions (albeit it was completely altruistic, so "appreciation" was not warranted)
Saying that I made good points (but later dismissing them via deflection >.<)
Pulling me back in track, just when I got "a little ahead of myself"

Next I would like to address a few points

"My questioning if something is an overreaction is the same as questioning whether the reaction is appropriate or not"

Yes , I understood that from the get-go (your definition of overreaction, stated that)

In this case, the reaction was controversy, and in some cases, outcry and anger. Keep in mind that the question was not "Was the commercial controversial?" The question is, "Should it have become controversial?"

So much "good stuff "in this one ;3
:okay so if I understand this correctly, WHAT YOU MEANT WAS, this was about the "controversiality" of the commercial, THEN WHY WOULD YOU POST THE DEFINITON OF OVERREACTION. (oh, that's right I misunderstood)

Okay lets use the same standard of measurement you used, using the same website, the definition I got for the word "controversial" was "a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement"
.
"Keep in mind that the question was not "Was the commercial controversial?" The question is, "Should it have become controversial?""

This statement shows that in in your mind, its already a controversy BUT
But according to the definition, the ad was not controversial

Breakdown:

Was it a contentious speech? BILL O REILLY SPOKE AGAINST THE BIGOTS, this man grabs a hold anything that is SLIGHTLY contentious and runs with it to the end zone, HE CONDEMNS THE BIGOTS ( video in source)

Conclusion, ad wasn"t contentious

The next part of the definition "a dispute where there is strong disagreement"

This is where YouTube comes in, you dismissed YouTube saying it was "JUST YOUTUBE"
It was just YouTube but it was the BATTLEFIELD where this whole thing took place. The news sources you cited specifically said "THEY DISABLED YOUTUBE COMMENTS," in fact all the news sources said that, like it was the be all and end all.

So its not "JUST" YOUTUBE

Its YOUTUBE

The place where THE COMMENTS WERE DISABLED and where INITIAL PACK OF BIGOTS GATHERED,

This is also the place where THAT video had 97% likes to 3% dislike,

Is this a STRONG DISAGREEMENT, I think not
which nullifies the second part of the definition

IN CONCLUSION, this was not controversial --> was not inappropriate ---> was not an overreaction
===================================================================================================
Example :
President Obama first got elected, he is biracial, SOME people didn't like that
Was that a controversy?
According to your definition it is, he is biracial, some bigots don't like that, so they express their distaste on YouTube and other forums. News medias and talk shows covered it, it created a debate all across the internet not just YouTube, although there were questions about Obama, the ACT of him getting inaugurated as president was NOT controversial
===================================================================================================
Question Time :

But what I'm ultimately asking is that should it have become a collective reaction of the nation?

COLLECTIVE REACTION OF THE NATION WHAAAA??
your boy Donny Deutsch( link u posted), from the today show called the bigots, "fringes of society," How is that COLLECTIVE REACTION OF THE NATION. ( p.s that's what ur ULTIMATELY asking me right :P)

Should interracial relations really be such a concern in this day and age that it causes such uproar amongst the masses?

What uproar are u talking about, FRINGE REMEMBER + NON CONTROVERSY ( according to definition)

or was the reaction to the commercial an overreaction?
ummm......... It was an overreaction ( refer to the stuff above)
===================================================================================================
confuzzled time:

Some people will say that it was an overreaction, and others will say that it wasn't and that the reaction to the interracial family was perfectly appropriate, which means to them, it's appropriate to make controversy out of content that portrays interracial relationships and the biracial families that result from them.

..........X.x........... Okay........
basically your saying some people think its an overreaction and others don't

furthermore, just because a small amount of people think somethings bad, it doesn't mean its automatically a controversy( refer to the dissection of the word controversy above)
===================================================================================================
Closing:
I perfectly understood the purpose of this debate, I accepted it anyway in order to show you that

It was an overreaction

and that there are many reasons as to why this was an overreaction ( this was not the perfect video, the camera was shaking for crying out loud)

I can stand here can give you what you want, hammer in the ole
TRADITIONAL AMERICAN FAMILY point over and over,
this video doesn't have a give manly man named Bobby-dean and a obedient housewife named Norma, a son called Bobb-dean Jr, and a daughter named Sharkeisha.

Lets be honest that's not a debate (-,-) and if you wanted something like that im not that person, nonetheless my arguments address your initial question, although it might seem like im dodging it.
Everything was based on it being controversial since its not ( I disproved it)

this was not controversial --> was not inappropriate ---> was not an overreaction
===================================================================================================
Sorry if this was a little hostile, im not 2SENEsitive when it comes to matters like this (<.<)
Debate Round No. 2
2Sense

Con

Once again, I appreciate my opponent for his response. However, I believe that he is still not addressing the main purpose of this debate. That being said, I will respond to his points anyway, and seeing that this is the final round, I will include a summarization of my points that support my initial position.

":okay so if I understand this correctly, WHAT YOU MEANT WAS, this was about the "controversiality" of the commercial, THEN WHY WOULD YOU POST THE DEFINITON OF OVERREACTION. (oh, that's right I misunderstood)"

"What I meant" is exactly how I put it. The topic of this debate is focused on the controversy of the commercial, and whether that reaction (the controversy) was appropriate or not. I am going to stand by the question: Was the reaction to the Interracial Cheerio's commercial an overreaction? Or to put it in a different way, Should the Interracial Cheerio's commercial have become a controversy? Yes or no, and why?

This is the main question that I asked my opponent, while considering the interracial relationships as the factor that fueled the controversy in the first place. I put the definition of overreaction to clarify that the response, in this case, the controversy, was the overreaction. Again, if my opponent misunderstood the purpose of my supporting points, then I apologize. But to reiterate, all that I am asking is whether the reaction to the Cheerio's commercial was appropriate or not. If my opponent understood that from the "get go", then he should have been able to address the question directly by now, rather than questioning my wording (even after I explained what I meant), and creating distracting points that ultimately detract from the debate.

I say that my opponent's points are distracting because his focus still appears to be on proving whether or not the commercial was controversial, rather than addressing whether or not the commercial should have been controversial. This is clear with his consistent use of using YouTube as his supporting point by saying most viewers of the video had positive responses to the video. YouTube is not where the controversy began and it is not where the controversy ended. The controversy began when the ad was aired on Television. The reactions to it were not limited to YouTube, rather, the response was addressed in the news, media, in casual conversations, and in other Internet forums besides YouTube.

Also keep in mind that the YouTube video by itself only has a little over 4 million views. There are over 300 million people in this country. Though it would be a stretch to suggest that all 300 million people have seen the commercial and are aware of the controversy surrounding it, given that the ad's notability was perpetuated via news and social media as well as other public forums, it can be assumed that the YouTube audience is not the only, or even the main audience aware of the controversy. What about people who do no utilize the Internet much to begin with? What about, since we deemed this an "American issue", the people outside of America who watched the YouTube video?

I find it interesting that my opponent feels that the nature of controversy is measured by the amount of public figures agreeing or disagreeing with the subject (who, incidentally, care about their public image as well as their jobs). I have to restate that the ad would not have gotten as much attention if its content was never contended. It would never have been in the news, it would never have been discussed so much on the Internet, and I would have never brought it up as a topic for debate if it had not become controversial. It would have just been another Cheerio's commercial.

A way that I could mirror my opponent's methods of approaching this debate would be to refer him to the Yahoo News page that covers this story. The article itself talks about the negativity that the ad received, and the comment section contains a mix of negative and positive responses. There he should see the "contention" that surrounds the ad.

I will post the link here.
http://news.yahoo.com...

This link is more for the sake of my opponent than it is for others who are reading this debate, since he still appears unconvinced that the Cheerios controversy was indeed a controversy.

But again, to prove whether or not the Cheerio's commercial was controversial was not the original purpose of this debate. The purpose was to discuss whether it should have become controversial.

My opponent may not have ever directly addressed this question, but I will summarize my main points anyway:

The Cheerios commercial in question became nationally recognized and discussed due to its content that portrayed an interracial couple and a biracial child. My position is that the controversy that spurred from it was inappropriate and speaks to the discontent that people within this country feels towards interracial relations. I believe the response was inappropriate because the ad was well-meaning and did not portray anything harmful or offensive. This controversy would not have existed if were not for the fact that the commercial portrayed a biracial family. The large response that this commercial caused is what is inappropriate, as I do not believe interracial relations portrayed through public forums such as television should become subjects of controversy. An interesting point to hit upon during this debate would have been to explore how and why interracial relations portrayed on TV should perhaps be contended. But since my opponent never touched on this, I will just move on to my final thoughts. If there is a chance that the response to the Cheerio's commercial was indeed inappropriate, a way to perhaps deflect such large responses would be to publicly portray such relations more often so that its "shock value" will not be as existent, and the public response to something as harmless as a biracial family in a cereal commercial will not spur any more controversy.
- - - - - - - -

This is the last round my opponent will be able to address my main points and what I am asking--unless he already agrees with my position, or perhaps simply misunderstands it, which I'm more inclined to believe because of this:

"I perfectly understood the purpose of this debate, I accepted it anyway in order to show you that

It was an overreaction

and that there are many reasons as to why this was an overreaction ( this was not the perfect video, the camera was shaking for crying out loud)"

This is indicative of my opponent's failure to respond to the overreaction I was trying to address. I know nothing about people complaining about camera shaking in the ad, but I do know about people's response to the portrayal of an interracial family in the commercial, and that is what I was speaking to. Though I made this clear several times already, my opponent still chose to ignore this and rather brought up distracting factors that ultimately dodged around the main purpose of this debate. Either way, however, I wish him the best of luck in the final round and once more, I thank him for his participation.
TheLastEmperor

Pro

Was the reaction to the Cheerios Interracial commercial an overreaction?

No

Shutting down the government because you disagree with the healthcare policy IS an overreaction
killing a black teenager because he looked like thug IS an overreaction
Discriminating against people because of something they can"t control IS an overreaction

Lashing out online against a commercial because you disagree with its content, is that an overreaction?
I have repeatedly tried to answer this question, and each time you deflect it with either "you"re dodging the question" or "you"re answering the wrong question," nevertheless I will restate my answer
IT IS "NOT" OVERREACTION
(I know that I oversimplified the issues but it was necessary to prove the point in a forthwith manner)
===================================================================================================

But again, to prove whether or not the Cheerio's commercial was controversial was not the original purpose of this debate. The purpose was to discuss whether it should have become controversial.

Sigh".Jesus Christ ( you know what, it is my fault, I should"ve been clearer)
IT"S CALLED ARGUMENTUM AD IGNORANTIAM
http://en.wikipedia.org...

"My questioning if something is an overreaction is the same as questioning whether the reaction is appropriate or not. In this case, the reaction was controversy"

overreaction:
an excessive reaction; a reaction with inappropriate emotional behavior

So the question was
Was the controversy (reaction) appropriate?

My objective was to show that it was an informal fallacy, If I could prove that it was not a controversy then it would mean that it was not an overreaction.

Since it was not a controversy, the reaction was in fact appropriate. Your argument was premised on the fact that it was already a controversy thus it was an overreaction ( controversies are overreactions), but if it was not a controversy then it was not an inappropriate( not an overreaction)
==================================================================================================
Americans didn't like the commercial for many reasons ( one such reason was bigotry), so they expressed their distaste by commenting on YouTube, and other internet forums ( was also talked about in the media). Was that reaction inappropriate?

NO

this is the United States of America, the place where people can openly protest if they don't like something, the place were protesting was codified by the !st Amendment, the place where people can picket at the funerals of the veterans ( that's doable because of the 1st amendment), the place where people are judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, this is the United States of America, and calling peaceful internet protests "overreactions" in the land of free and the home of the brave(;p), is not only blasphemous but untrue.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mall 1 year ago
mall
So a lot went with semantics in this discussion. Definitely want to to get all the definitions squared away with the correct words. Words are important and must be used to prevent confusion . Each side had valid points because both were looking at different aspects. It is true that we can't accurately discern the hearts of people by on the account of YouTube. Prejudice isn't debatable and that's for certain. Perhaps the reason this was such an uproar due to the flabbergasting of how bigotry is extremely live and well. Anyhow something is either controversial or it nots. It's debatable all on its on and independent of a personal catalyst. We can't make a choice and decide what should and should not be controversial . It's just reality and just a fact that a subject is like the fact of a being born of a gender. A conundrum is inconclusive and undecided based on whatever reasoning. Interesting cases on both sides though.
Posted by 2Sense 3 years ago
2Sense
2 days left for voting
Posted by TheLastEmperor 3 years ago
TheLastEmperor
I forgot to post this -.-
Posted by TheLastEmperor 3 years ago
TheLastEmperor
done
good luck and like my picture :3
Posted by TheLastEmperor 3 years ago
TheLastEmperor
hey 2sensei
I was composing a response to ur "argument", as I re read it, I realized that it sounded a TAD bit hostile. My intentions aren't hostile, its just my style of argument + stress from accumulating information for the FAFSA caused this ....sour "response", look forward to it, should be done in an hour or so ;p
Posted by 2Sense 3 years ago
2Sense
*to
Posted by 2Sense 3 years ago
2Sense
Hey there, TheLastEmperor, sorry it took so long for me to respond. My internet has been out for the past few days. Already I can see this is going to be an interesting conversation, so I definitely look forward with continuing the debate with you soon. Good luck!
Posted by TheLastEmperor 3 years ago
TheLastEmperor
Gl :)
Posted by TheLastEmperor 3 years ago
TheLastEmperor
.....nvm ;p
Posted by 2Sense 3 years ago
2Sense
Yes, what is your question?
No votes have been placed for this debate.