If you were so not here for the Green M&M’s un-yassified redesign in January 2022, then you’re really not gonna like this: It looks like M&M’s rainbow of spokescandies are joining Mr. Peanut and the Taco Bell chihuahua as the ghosts of mascots past. After using the cartoons in ads since 1994, the brand announced on Jan. 23 that M&M’s is taking an “indefinite pause” from the characters. The company is swapping out the M&M’s spokescandies for Maya Rudolph, but even a comedic genius like Rudolph can’t stop the controversy that followed. Plenty of people believe some whining is to blame for the switch, but the M&M’s told Elite Daily that “the decision isn’t a reaction.”
M&M’s seemingly out of nowhere announced the spokesperson change in a Jan. 23 tweet. “In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would notice,” the company wrote. You might remember the backlash in the beginning of 2022 when the Green M&M traded in her famous white boots for sneakers, and the Brown M&M swapped sexy stilettos for a pair of pumps. “We definitely didn’t think it would break the internet,” M&M’s said in the statement. “But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing,”
In order to bring people together, the company said it “decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies,” replacing them with “a spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph.”
An M&M’s spokesperson told Elite Daily in a Jan. 23 statement the reason for the shake-up is to “support” the brand. “The M&M’s brand can confirm conclusively that this decision isn't a reaction to, but rather is in support of, our M&M’S brand, which we will always continue to evolve to bring people together through the power of fun,” the spokesperson said.
While the brand says it’s not a reaction to the conversation surrounding the M&M’s, the timing is still pretty sus.
Tucker Carlson addressed the topic of M&M’s in January 2023 and stated that “woke M&M’s have returned.” In the segment, Carlson referenced a photo of the Green and Brown M&M’s looking cozy and called the green spokescandy a “lesbian,” and criticized the “new” Purple M&M for being “plus-sized” and “obese.” In actuality, the image of the Green and Brown M&M’s used in the clip was from 2015 — years before the Green M&M lost its boots — and the Purple M&M was introduced in September 2022 for the brand’s Caramel Cold Brew and Peanut flavors.
The candy also made an appearance on Carlson’s show in January 2022, when he criticized the company for getting rid of the Green and Brown M&M’s “sexy” boots and heels, respectively. To be fair, a lot of people missed the old look, but it really seemed to irk Carlson. “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,” Carlson said at the time.
M&M’s is sticking to its story that getting rid of the M&M’s spokescandies isn’t to placate those making noise about it, but the company also acknowledged it’s aware the candy is a hot topic. “Mars saw a record-breaking amount of interest in and conversations about our spokescandies over the last year,” said the M&M’s spokesperson. Conservative media personalities like Carlson and Greg Gutfeld certainly played a part in keeping those conversations going, according to a video in a Jan. 23 tweet from Media Matters.
M&M’s neutral new spokesperson, Rudolph, was brought in to keep everyone happy, but fans of the colorful mascots can’t seem to separate the move from the recent conservative outrage:
While some fans theorized the Carlson of it all may have had something do with the swap, others think the M&M’s spokescandy controversy announcement came too close to Super Bowl 57 to be a coincidence. They’re convinced it’s all an elaborate stunt for a commercial. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time a brand pulled something like this — in 2020, Planters ceremoniously “killed off” Mr. Peanut in a Super Bowl commercial before bringing the mascot back a year later.
As for the recently laid off spokescandies, they’re “pursuing personal passions,” per the M&M’s spokesperson. Fingers crossed those “passions” include coming back via a Super Bowl commercial.