The new M&Ms Characters updated to be more "inclusive" and "progressive."

M&Ms Characters Modern Makeover / M&M Spokescandies Controversy

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Updated Jan 24, 2023 at 11:44AM EST by Adam.

Added Jan 21, 2022 at 11:27AM EST by Adam.

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Overview

M&Ms Characters Modern Makeover or M&M Spokescandies Controversy refers to an announcement made by the Mars candy company that the M&M mascots, staples of M&Ms ads for years, would be getting a slight redesign and character tweak to reflect a "more dynamic, progressive world." Notable announced changes include de-emphasizing the green M&M's sexuality, making the brown M&M more of a girlboss and having the orange M&M "acknowledge his anxiety." The announcement was widely mocked online for being overzealously politically correct and led to some humorous defenses of M&M's old characters, particularly for the infamously "sexy" green M&M. Additionally, it was harshly criticized in conservative media, leading to several memorable Tucker Carlson segments. In January of 2023, the company announced it would put a "pause" on its spokescandies, though several suspected the announcement was a PR stunt ahead of the Super Bowl.

Background

On January 20th, 2022, Mars announced via press release that they would be tweaking the M&M mascots' characteristics to reflect a "more dynamic progressive world."[1] These changes included changing the green M&M from a "sexy" archetype to a more "girl power"-oriented character, making Red less antagonistic and turning the brown M&M into a more "girlboss" type character. Mars expressed that the changes will hopefully promote "self-expression and power of community." The company also stated the changes were a part of its "global commitment to creating a world where everyone feels they belong and society is inclusive" and that it hopes to "increase the sense of belonging for 10 million people around the world by 2025." A portion of the press release tweeted by Nathan Allebach[2] is shown below.


M&M's Updates Mascots to Represent a More 'Dynamic and Progressive World' m. m M&M's iconic mascots are getting an updated look-and personalities and backstories-to align with the fact that consumers value inclusion and belonging more than ever. Green will embrace confidence and a new pair of kicks, Red will tone down the bossiness, Orange will acknowledge his anxiety and more. <8 E

Developments

The announcement quickly became a topic of discussion on social media, as Twitter users began to mock the redesign as needlessly politically correct. User @aniceburrito[3] joked that the M&Ms had gone woke, gaining over 70 retweets and 1,000 likes (shown below, left). User @HollyBriden[4] joked, "Imagine sitting at a conference table and the boss says, 'We need to make one of the M&Ms less fuckable. Let鈥檚 hear your ideas,'" gaining over 70 retweets and 970 likes (shown below, right).


mike (getting worried) @aniceburrito (Said with the desperation of losing a loved one) M&Ms has gone woke 11:13 AM 路 Jan 20, 2022 路 Twitter for iPhone Hollaria Briden, Esq. ... @HollyBriden Imagine sitting at a conference table and the boss says, "We need to make one of the M&Ms less fuckable. Let's hear your ideas." 99 7:29 PM 路 Jan 20, 2022 路 Twitter for iPhone

There was also a significant amount of ironic backlash to the idea of the green M&M becoming less sexy. Rolling Stone[5] posted a tongue-in-cheek article titled "Let the Green M&M Be a Nasty Little Slut" in which they argued in favor of the green M&M's sexual personality. The Green M&M in particular became the subject of memes on Twitter. For example, user @dantnty[6] posted the Debimboification image with regards to the green M&M, gaining over 370 retweets and 3,500 likes (shown below, left). User @psychic_pussy69[7] posted a screenshot of a Change.org petition to give the green M&M her "sexy boots" back, gaining over 9,000 retweets and 91,000 likes (shown below, right).


p----') @psychic_pussy69 ... change.org give the green m&m her sexy boots back 173 have signed. Let's get to 200! Sign this petition 10:01 PM - Jan 20, 2022 路 Twitter for iPhone

Furthermore, several Twitter users pointed out that at the same time, Mars Incorporated, the company which owns the M&Ms trademark, was facing lawsuits for alleged child slavery in their cocoa plantations, accusing its marketing team of using the mascot makeover as a diversion.


n@t @apologygirl43 its almost like this is a stunt to draw attention away from the fact that yall have a child slavery lawsuit m M&M'S @mmschocolate 路 Jan 20 Did my shoes really break the internet? 11:01 AM 路 Jan 21, 2022 路 Twitter for Android CBS News @CBSNews M&M characters redesigned for a "more dynamic, progressive world," Mars announces ZAVCOL Human rights in focus Mars, Nestl茅 and Hershey to face child slavery lawsuit in US Chocolate companies are amongthe defendants named in alawsuit brought by fomer child workers in ivory Coast imgflip.com

Miserable, Non-binary Candy Is All We Deserve

On January 22nd, 2022, Tucker Carlson aired a segment bemoaning the change to the M&Ms (shown below).



While the segment attracted mockery as Carlson complained about how he "wouldn't want to have a drink" with any of the new M&Ms, many began joking about the chyron, which read, "Miserable, non-binary candy is all we deserve." The image of the chyron went viral on Twitter, with many users joking that they identified as a "miserable, non-binary candy."





Supposed "Pause" On Spokescandies

On January 23rd, 2023, M&Ms announced in a tweet it would put an indefinite "pause" on the use of their spokescandies due to the backlash and make Maya Rudolph the spokeswoman of the brand.



Reactions to the announcement were mixed, as many felt it was cowardly for Mars to apparently give in to the backlash. However, many suspected that the "pause" was in fact a set-up for a Super Bowl ad campaign, similar to when Planters "killed" Mr. Peanut ahead of introducing Baby Nut at the Super Bowl.



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Top Comments

Gleaming Steel
Gleaming Steel

So the brown M&M is going from a racially ambiguous woman鈥.

To a blatant analogue for an african american woman that's highly aggressive.

Gotta love progressive racism.

+106

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