M&M’s replaces cartoon ‘spokescandies’ with Maya Rudolph

After controversy following its mascot refresh last year, M&M’s announced Monday it is taking an “indefinite pause” from using its candy-coated mascots, saying the “last thing M&M’s wanted” was to be “polarizing.”

M&M’s said in a tweet that it is instead tapping actor Maya Rudolph as its spokesperson, someone the brand said “America can agree on.”

Mars Inc., the parent company of M&M’s, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Rudolph did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

M&M’s “spokescandies” have provoked the ire of right-wing outlets like Fox News in recent weeks after the company announced a new “Flip the Status Quo“ campaign. The campaign raised money to support women in creative industries and featured limited-edition candy bags with the three female spokescandies.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson railed against “woke M&Ms” in a recent broadcast. He made similar complaints about the candies last January after M&M’s announced a new, inclusive look.

In its statement on Monday, M&M’s said it “definitely didn’t think it would break the internet.”

“But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing,” the brand wrote. “Which is the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.”

The brand said it is “confident” that Rudolph “will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels like they belong.”

Online, many responded to the announcement with shock and disappointment.

“They fired the M&Ms,” one user wrote.

“give me back my sexy green m&m,” wrote another user.

Others speculated the announcement could be a publicity stunt made ahead of the Super Bowl, which takes place on Feb. 12.

“It’s January 23 they literally murdered Mr Peanut on Jan 22 2020, this is an obvious chumming of waters for a bad super bowl ad plan,” one user wrote, referring to when Planters said Mr. Peanut died during a pre-Super Bowl ad in 2020.

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