The Onion, a satirical newspaper we’ve loved since their 2001 headline “Gay-Pride Parade Sets Mainstream Acceptance Of Gays Back 50 Years,” has a hilarious new story about General Mills rebranding the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee’s backstory to be more “real.”
Apparently BuzzBee grew up in a foster home with an abusive Christian father in Indiana after being separated from his drug-addict parents.
The Onion lays out the fake ad strategy at length:
Calling the psychologically intense new narrative a “fresh and interesting twist on a beloved character,” General Mills said it would unveil a series of TV, web, and print ads relating, often in graphic detail, the Honey Nut Cheerios mascot’s separation from his drug-addicted parents at a young age, as well as his near-constant emotional and physical suffering at the hands of a controlling, fundamentalist Christian foster father.
“Our customers have always loved [Honey Nut Cheerios mascot] BuzzBee, and we figured such an iconic character deserved a rich backstory that people would enjoy following along with,” said General Mills representative Gina Ripp, adding that the animated bee’s cheerful appearance would remain the same, but would mask “deep inner turmoil stemming from the crucial early years of his personal development.” “He still loves Honey Nut Cheerios, with its 12 essential vitamins and minerals, but now his love is complicated, perhaps fed, by the feelings of self-hatred he acquired as a ritually abused foster child in suburban Indiana.”
We think they should flavor the new “campaign” with a dash of gay—perhaps the BuzzBee faced even more intense bullying at home and at school when he came out as a bee who likes other male bees.
Although, in a biological sense, real bees have pretty weird sexual habits of their own. They all worship the Queen, though!