Who is Jensen Karp? How Hot Karl got embroiled in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch controversy over 'shrimp tails'

The 'Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp Guy' chronicles become one of the best trends after TV writer Jensen Karp shared photos of what he found in his cereal

                            Who is Jensen Karp? How Hot Karl got embroiled in the Cinnamon Toast Crunch controversy over 'shrimp tails'
Danielle Fishel and Jensen Karp, who is now trending as Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp guy (Getty Images)

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is in a bit of hot water after a comedian and host from Los Angeles claimed that he found shrimp tails in his cereal. Jensen Karp — who was previously known by his stage name Hot Karl — took to Twitter to call the brand out, but their reply further stumped many on the social media channel.

Initially, the company claimed it to be "accumulated sugar" but a picture posted by Karp seems to show otherwise. Furthermore, after "Twitter did its thing" Karp may have landed on a theory that might not be suitable for a weak stomach. Even more disturbing, shrimp tails aren't the only thing he found in his cereal. Here's a look at the controversy and Jensen Karp's life if you haven't followed him.


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Executive producer Jensen Karp (Getty Images)

Who is Jensen Karp?

Born in 1979, Jensen-Gerard Karp "accidentally" landed a million-dollar record deal when he was just 19 with Hot Karl on Interscope Records. Soon after, he released songs with big names such as Kanye West, Fabolous, and will.i.am. Furthermore, he opened a pop culture art gallery called Gallery1988 in 2003 and "collaborated with properties" like 'Breaking Bad', 'LOST' and 'Star Wars' on "content and worldwide marketing campaigns".

He also has writing credits for 'The Late Late Show with James Corden,' 'The Howard Stern Show,' and 'Candidly Nicole.' Did you know he penned down a 2016 memoir titled 'Kanye West Owes Me $300'? Interesting, isn't it? More recently, he joined TBS' upcoming 'Drop The Mic' as the writer and executive producer.

In an interview with Read It Forward, Karp shed light on his writing style, saying, "I was really a creative writer. Writing was my love right alongside hip-hop. I knew what beats I liked, but that wasn’t my talent. I wasn’t good at picking out beats or producing — I was good at writing. That’s what I was doing in high school and even elementary school, when I had a short story about baseball published. Writing’s always been my main thing. I don’t think I listened to LL Cool J and thought the beats moved me; I was always looking to the lyrics alone. I don’t think I really heard anything else."


Cinnamon Toast Crunch controversy

On March 22, a simple image snowballed into a huge controversy. Karp tweeted an image of what looks to be Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal in and out of their plastic bag with two small dried shrimp tails sitting on the counter. He wrote, "Ummmm @CTCSquares - why are there shrimp tails in my cereal? (This is not a bit)".

An hour later, the blue-ticked official account of the brand replied to Karp's tweet writing, "We’re sorry to see what you found! We would like to report this to our quality team and replace the box. Can you please send us a DM to collect more details? Thanks!"




'I wasn’t all that mad until you now tried to gaslight me?'

Things took a turn when the company responded. After the man DM'd them with a joke of a shrimp saying, "Ok, I have sent you a DM. Fair warning, I look different since eating your cereal today," the company came up with the most bizarre response. "After further investigation with our team that closely examined the image, it appears to be an accumulation of the cinnamon sugar that sometimes can occur when ingredients aren't thoroughly blended. We assure you that there's no possibility of cross-contamination with shrimp," they tweeted back.

Karp wasted no time in calling the brand out for "gaslighting him" as he tweeted them back with pictures of just the alleged "shrimp tails". This time, he wrote, "Ok, we’ll after further investigation with my eyes, these are cinnamon coated SHRIMP TAILS, you weirdos. I wasn’t all that mad until you now tried to gaslight me?"




'Should I take MY shrimp tail to a lab'?

Karp didn't stop there and proceeded to post a screenshot of a DM that was shared to him by Cinnamon Toast Crunch, where the brand offered him vouchers. He posted the image writing, "I think we’ve all dated someone like Cinnamon Toast Crunch." The brand later offered to send a pre-paid envelope to Karp so he can send them the "shrimp tails" for further inspection. 

Karp shared another screenshot of their conversation, telling them that he would keep one of the two shrimp tails and send them the other so they don't make him look "insane".  "Should I take MY shrimp tail to a lab? I’m all-in," tweeted Karp.



'I wish this was a joke'

Things got even worse when Karp tweeted that he had gone back "through" the cereal bag and alleged that he spotted a "weird little string". The thread continued as he showed followers individual pieces of cereal that had 'black marks'. "I wish this was a joke," he wrote.

Next, Karp shared a tweet of his wife — actress Danielle Fishel — who is famous for playing Topanga Matthews on 'Boy Meets World'. According to his tweets, she discovered that it looked like dental floss. "UPDATE: my wife has a stronger stomach than me and checked the OTHER bag in the family pack. This one seems taped up (?) and also appears to include...(I don’t even want to say it)...dental floss," wrote Karp.




Rat droppings? Wait, what?

Although it couldn't be analyzed what it really was, Karp retweeted a user who told them that those are 'most likely' rat droppings. The claim, however, is baseless and there is no proof whatsoever.

A user wrote to Karp saying, "That black is rat droppings baked onto the squares. The shrimp and string are collections. It looks like something got into a bag of dry mix and nested!," to which Karp replied, "This is also where I’ve currently landed (unfortunately). It makes me want wash my mouth out with acid. But also, it doesn’t explain the weird taped bag. Is there anyone on LA Twitter who can test these black pieces for me?"


An update to his followers saw Karp taking the cereal box to a lab. He also then shared two screenshots of DMs exchanged between him and the brand where he tells them that he will not be sending them the "shrimp tails" because their tweet "calling it sugar was super weird." He said, "You're being super sketchy and odd."

Karp continued to tweet about this incident several times, as he shut down trolls and maintained "full transparency" with his followers - you can see all his tweets here. Nor Karp, nor the company have clarified as to what was actually found in the cereal, Karp's tweets set off a series of speculations that could be false. 



How the situation turned crazy

The trend broke out immediately after this tweet as many took to Twitter to post jokes about this crazy situation. One of the main jokes was the trend 'don't worry about the vaccine,' where Twitter users mocked the brand tweeting, "If you’ve ever eaten Cinnamon Toast Crunch you don’t need to worry about what’s in the vaccine."

There were many that simply tweeted this exact joke. Another added, "So far the only side effect from my vaccine is that the Cinnamon Toast Crunch tastes like shrimp."




Many added to the fun as can be seen in the tweets below.








Even comedian Seth Rogen responded saying, "I’d cut my mouth off if I were you." Chance The Rapper also got into the fun writing, "Fun fact: the Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp guy gave me 5 racks to shoot a video back when I still had a nose ring"




One use wrote, "So TOPANGA is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shrimp guy’s wife? This crazy story gets better." Another added, "Cinnamon Toast Crunch dude is married to Topanga. This just keeps getting wilder and wilder."




This article contains remarks made by social media users and individual organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support any claims being made online.

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