M&M's is enjoying a sudden surge in social media attention after announcing on Monday that it will replace its “spokescandies” with actress Maya Rudolph, following an angry on-air rant about the mascots from Carlson.
“We get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing,” the brand wrote in a statement, adding that this was “the last thing M&M’s wanted.”
The candy-maker says it will now put an “indefinite pause” on its spokes-candy mascots while handing the baton over to Rudolph.
The move appears to be a response to Carlson, the 53-year-old conservative pundit, who has repeatedly complained about “woke” M&Ms on his Fox News opinion show.
“Woke M&Ms have returned,” Carlson griped last January, in a rant that has since gone viral online. “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. The brown M&M has quote, ‘transitioned from high stilettos to lower block heels.’ Also less sexy."
\u201cThis is so unbelievably funny genuinely no notes\u201d— DJ LEASHKID (@DJ LEASHKID) 1673462163
Carlson went on to claim that "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.”
\u201cGang\u2019s all here! Don\u2019t worry there\u2019s room for you too.\u201d— M&M'S (@M&M'S) 1665417638
Carlson took "full responsibility" for the M&M's change in a tweet on Tuesday, before claiming victory on air over the "end" of the mascots. He added that his team was in the middle of an "investigation" into this pressing topic of when M&M's made the move.
\u201cOur response to the end of the obese and lesbian M&M spokescandies\u201d— Tucker Carlson (@Tucker Carlson) 1674526097
But not so fast, because Rudolph spilled the tea about what's really going on during an interview with the TODAY Show on Monday.
This is all building up toward a Super Bowl commercial involving Rudolph, which is slated to air during the big game on February 12.
"It's a very fun pairing, if I do say so myself," she said.
Mars' chief marketing officer also gave the game away in a statement to TODAY, saying that it's all about delivering another "buzz-worthy" moment for the Super Bowl.
"We're inspired by the M&M's brand being back in the mix in a new way for 2023," she said in the statement.
Although there was plenty of conservative outrage about the switch online, many were quick to point out that we've seen this kind of stunt before. Back in 2020, Planters announced that it had "killed" its Mr. Peanut mascot, only to re-introduce a baby version of the character in a Super Bowl ad a few weeks later.
\u201c(pssst there\u2019s no way the m&ms are going anywhere this is like when mr. peanut \u201cdied\u201d it\u2019s just a bit for a super bowl commercial folks)\u201d— j.d. durkin (@j.d. durkin) 1674521657
It's unclear exactly when the M&M's mascots will return, but it's worth pointing out that they haven't "ended," as Carlson said. They're just on "pause," and we could see them as soon as February 12.