HBO host John Oliver and Cheerios are offering thousands of dollars in charitable donations, contingent on tweets from each other.
The back-and-forth began after Oliver, host of "Last Week Tonight," slammed cereal brands for their lack of innovation and creativity in a video posted online Sunday.
He expressed a particular dislike for Cheerios's chosen marketing strategy, saying that its official Twitter account "has fully submitted to the worst toothless impulses that dominate positivity Twitter."
He blasted the brand for sharing empty phrases like "Families make good go round."
"They deliver empty nonsense like 'Good morning, today is yours,' " Oliver said while sharing images of the cereal brand's tweets. "No one looks to Cheerios for positivity."
The comedian then proceeded to issue a challenge to Cheerios, daring the General Mills brand to share a message that is a little less wholesome.
"I will donate $25,000 to the charity of Cheerios's choice if they simply use their official account to tweet 'F--- You.' I'll do it," he said. "I'll double it if they target the Twitter account of an actual non-famous, random user and do it."
He then returned to what he called the "larger point" of his argument, proclaiming that "cereal is in a rut."
Cheerios responded to the challenge on Monday, declining to tweet using an expletive, but offering a donation of its own if Oliver tweets "Families make good go round."
.@iamjohnoliver @LastWeekTonight You know we’re a family brand so we can’t drop the F. We’ll donate $50,000 to @nokidhungry. We’ll also donate $50,000 to the charity of your choice if you tweet, "Families make good go round."— Cheerios (@cheerios) May 31, 2021
Oliver had not responded to the counteroffer as of late Tuesday afternoon.