The colorful, talking M&Ms “spokescandies” — you’ve no doubt seen them in countless ads — are taking an “indefinite pause,” the company announced Monday, after they received some strange blowback from Tucker Carlson that went viral on Twitter after the candies’ last makeover. Comedian Maya Rudolph will now be the face of M&Ms and appear in a new ad during this year’s Super Bowl.
“In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet. But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together. Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies,” M&Ms wrote in a statement Monday.
Last year, M&Ms unveiled new looks for some of their talking candies. The Green M&M got sneakers instead of heels, and the Brown M&M replaced her stilettos for block heels. The candy company also got rid of the “Mr.” and “Ms.” titles for their characters, introduced a Purple M&M to represent “acceptance and inclusivity” and gave the talking chocolates “nuanced personalities.”
The mascot makeover had gained attention online, which was mostly made of lighthearted memes, but some right-wing commentators took it more seriously, with Carlson calling them “woke” and “less sexy” on his Fox News program.
“Woke M&Ms have returned. The Green M&M got her boots back, but apparently is now a lesbian maybe? And now there’s a plus-sized, obese Purple M&M,” Carlson said in a segment that aired last year after the first M&Ms revamp. “The Brown M&M has quote, ‘transitioned from high stilettos to lower block heels.’ Also less sexy. That’s progress. M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous, until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity. They’ve won.”
Tucker: M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity… pic.twitter.com/rz7VtVCHWu— Acyn (@Acyn) January 22, 2022
This is so unbelievably funny genuinely no notes pic.twitter.com/6vV3TGXY2h— DJ LEASHKID (@leash_kid_) January 11, 2023
Rudolph will star in a new M&Ms ad debuting during the Super Bowl on Feb. 12, she told “The Today Show” on Monday.
“We are proud to introduce a spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph. We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong,” M&Ms wrote.