This hit show addressed police violence with a fake commercial that felt all too real.

The Oct. 11 episode of FX's new comedy, "Atlanta" delivered on all fronts.

The bold, daring comedy follows Earn Marks (played by Donald Glover) as he manages his cousin Alfred, an up-and-coming rapper who goes by "Paper Boi" (played by Brian Tyree Henry).

Brian Tyree Henry as Alfred Miles (L) and Donald Glover as Earnest Marks (R). Image by Guy D'Alema/FX.


On the show's recent episode titled "B.A.N.," Paper Boi appeared on a fictional talk show "Montague." The entire episode included parody commercials for Swisher Sweets, Arizona iced tea, and more.

But it was the commercial parody for kids cereal Coconut Crunchos that set the episode apart.

In the short spot, a few black children explored ancient tombs (just go with it, kids' cereal commercials are ridiculous). Then, they discovered their treasure: a spread of delicious bowls of Coconut Crunchos. But just as they arrive, a wolf dressed as a mummy jumps out and tries to nab their breakfast.

That's when the commercial takes an alarming turn.

As the wolf attempts to swipe their cereal, an all-business white police officer grabs the culprit and lays him out.

All GIFs via FX Networks/YouTube.

The wolf was handcuffed and roughed up while the children looked on.

The kids tried to reason with the officer — after all, it's just cereal. But he wasn't having any of it. So one of the kids took out their cellphone and started recording the entire exchange.

So much for the most important meal of the day.

While the parody was only 90 seconds of laughing through tears emoji emotions, it was rooted in an all too common truth.

Over-policing isn't just police zeroing in on specific populations or communities. It's about the hyper-militarization of local police forces, school administrators passing the buck on discipline to in-house police officers, and less serious offenses being treated as anything but.

Protesters hold up their hands and chant "hands up, don't shoot!" as they protest the decision not to indict a police officer who used a chokehold in the death of Eric Garner. Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images.

In cities across the country, people of color are more likely to be stopped or searched than their white peers are. And a study out of University of California-Davis found “the probability of being black, unarmed, and shot by police is about 3.49 times the probability of being white, unarmed, and shot by police on average.”

Black people are not making this up. We're not exaggerating. Just getting from Point A to Point B can be a matter of life and death.

So, it's no wonder the commercial resonated with so many viewers.

The reactions were swift and plentiful, with many surprised to see the issue of police brutality brilliantly juxtaposed with a kid's cereal commercial.

As such, the joke was nearly overwhelmingly met with praise.

Others cheered "Atlanta" for broaching the topic in such a unique way.

It's great to see shows like "Atlanta" and "Luke Cage" addressing the systemic issues faced by African-Americans in creative, surprising ways.

The lead characters may have superpowers or live in a slightly off-kilter reality (Black Justin Bieber anyone?) but the topics they're signal boosting are very real. And people of all backgrounds are taking notice. It remains to be seen if they'll take action.

Watch the full commercial for yourself. With or without a balanced breakfast.

Most Shared
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular