Global candy company M&M will be replacing its new M&M “spokescandies” with actress Maya Rudolph after facing intense backlash regarding its redesigned characters which were made more gender-neutral, feminist and inclusive.
The company announced the news on its social media channels and said that when it made changes to its spokescandies last year, it did not expect it to break the internet. “But now we get it – even a candy's shoes can be polarising. 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," the post said.
The redesigned M&M’s were revealed earlier this month and faced intense critique particularly from political commentator Tucker Carlson from Fox News. The host argued that the candies were “less sexy” while highlighting that the brand had changed the green M&M’s “sexy boots” for “sensible sneakers” which was not as attractive. The brand also turned the orange M&M into a mascot that is plagued with anxiety and added a new purple M&M.
Purple is designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity and is known for her earnest self-expression. According to M&M's, keen self-awareness, authenticity and confidence are the driving forces behind purple’s charm and quirky nature. She also sports laced up boots. The company at the time marked her global debut with the release of her first music single and video.
The redesign though, was met with backlash online as netizens debated the new changes. Many called for the green M&M to get her boots back and argued that their new shoes gave them no style.
At the same time, many applauded the company for pushing for inclusivity.
The brand has now appointed American comedian, actress, and singer Maya Rudolph as its spokesperson with Rudolph set to start in the brand’s Super Bowl LVII commercial, according to chief marketing officer Gabrielle Wesley who was speaking to CNBC.
“We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong,” the brand continued in its social media statement.
The news comes just shortly after the brand announced that it would be celebrating its female characters by putting the spotlight on all-female packs that celebrate women everywhere. The limited-edition product features purple, brown and green on its packaging and was the first united representation of the female trio spokescandies, according to the press release. It is unclear if the product will be pulled from shelves however, it has already begun stirring controversy.
One Fox news anchor in particular decided to tie the incident to China, saying the feminist-forward pack emboldens China, according to CNN. The association left many viewers confused on the matter.
In the clip, the newscaster suggested that while the rest of the world focuses on trivial matters such as the color of M&M's, China is busy taking over all the mineral deposits in the world.
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