#TonyTigerGate: When furries harassed a cereal mascot

Posted on Jun 17, 2020

Frosted Flakes is one of the most popular cereals in the world, and Tony the Tiger has been its solid mascot since the 50s. It’s a bit perplexing why they chose a tall, muscular tiger-man as the mascot for a very simple flakes-style cereal, but you can’t argue with success. Whether or not he’s the person to best represent sugary corn-bits, he is popular, and he’s even popular with a very specific subset of people: furries.

Really, who can blame them? Tony represents a beloved principle of furryness: an attractive anthropomorphic animal-person who is both friendly and approachable. The worship of food mascots has been a long-running tradition of furry fandom, but Tony has held a special place in this world for as long as furries have existed.

If you’ve ever interacted with the furry fandom’s broader-reaching internet presence or especially its more cherished traditions, you can probably already see where this is going.

If you don’t use Twitter, you’re one of the lucky ones, and you probably don’t know that every single brand that has ever existed now has a “presence” on that awful blue website that we all hate. A lot of those accounts are represented by the mascots themselves, working as their own brand managers in a sense. One of our favorite examples of this is the official Keebler account, where Ernie the Keebler Elf takes to Twitter the same way a confused grandfather would. 

Naturally, Frosted Flakes had its own foothold on Twitter, because advertising has to be omnipresent in our lives wherever we go. Remember when gas pumps didn’t have screens on them that played ads for the gas stations that you were already getting gas at? God, those were good times.

At this point, Tony had been using Twitter for at least three years with little incident. Furries begging Tony for nudes had been a constant since the account’s genesis, as far as we could tell. There is nothing that prompted the events of 2016 in particular - no particularly sexual tweet made, no new commercial, nothing out of the ordinary by Tony himself. But on January 26th, Tony had evidently had enough.

Tony’s account began blocking furries en masse, many of them completely random accounts that had never interacted with Tony before. This only instigated a larger-than-ever response of furries lusting after Tony, in attempts to get on this instantly-legendary blocklist. The furry side of Twitter was abuzz with the conceit that Tony had abandoned them in their time of need. All because they wanted him to post a photo of his balls?

I’m all for showing your stripes, feathers, etc. But let’s keep things gr-r-reat – & family-friendly if you could. Cubs could be watching 🙂

– Frosted Flakes @frosted_flakes

The thing is, if you know anything about how Twitter brands work, they like to hop in on each other’s business all of the time. Chester Cheetah, of all people, was willing to extend the olive branch to furries by accepting them calling him “daddy”.

@WitchyCats @CasualFennec I welcome all fans to my twitter feed. Scales, feathers, or fur, if you enjoy my tweets then welcome!

– Chester Cheetah @ChesterCheetah

This is all, frankly, par for the course on Twitter. It’s a hellscape, a website of pure id where people scream things in public, seemingly unaware that thousands of eyes are going to be reading it for years later. We’re not here to moralize about telling a fictional cartoon cat to post nudes, but there is one thing we’re concerned with: Tony the Tiger is a married man, he has a husband, and it’s wrong to solicit a family man.

Now when we say that Tony is a married man, we’re not talking about Mrs. Tony, his wife that was added to the mascot lineup during the 70s. That’s long gone, and we haven’t seen her - or their children, Antoinette and Tony Jr. - for decades. No, Tony’s since moved on and found a new lover, a man with a son of his own. Just watch this commercial and see for yourself:

See what we mean? This is clearly Tony and his husband making bonding time for their son. Finding time to bond as a stepfamily can be difficult, and the father in this video is clearly trying to make space in his son’s heart for Tony. Trying to place a special importance on Tony’s brand of cereal at the end is an obvious attempt to get the kid to associate Tony with good times. What other significance can there be for the line “Share what you love with who you love” being said right before Tony walks into the room?

We can’t abide with Twitter users harassing a man with a husband and child for sexual gratification. Though we understand Tony’s status as a sexual icon, Tony’s a tiger that deserves a more quiet personal life with his family instead of having to post a constant stream of sexual content for furries on the internet. Please, leave him alone!

To be fair to the furries, as far as we can tell they have left him alone. Tony the Tiger’s twitter account has since rebranded to a more general Frosted Flakes account, one that doesn’t have the premise of being run by Tony. This appears to have nipped all weird furry content in the bud. Tony the Tiger is a gay icon - let him be one in peace!

So if you must harass a mascot on Twitter, why not try the Keebler Elves? They could probably use the self-esteem boost at their age.

Categories: food lgbt

Tagged: 2016 cereal cheetos chester cheetah frosted flakes mascots tony the tiger twitter