M&Ms chocolate announced on Monday that it is taking “an indefinite pause from the spokescandies” after controversy over their rebranded appearances.
“In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice,” the brand said in a statement shared on Twitter. “And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet. But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing.”
“Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together,” the brand added.
In their place, actress Maya Rudolph has been tapped as the new spokesperson for the beloved chocolate candy, M&M’s said.
An M&Ms spokesperson said that Maya Rudolph’s first appearance as the brand’s spokesperson and “Chief of Fun” will be in the upcoming Super Bowl LVII M&M advertising campaign.
“Maya will serve as the brand’s new spokesperson, allowing the colorful cast of M&Ms spokescandies to step away and embrace a new path to pursue other passions,” the spokesperson said.
Rudolph’s representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comments.
The brand began making changes to its walking, talking M&M’s characters early last year, replacing the shoes of both the brown and green female M&M’s. Most notably, Mars Wrigley, the maker of the popular chocolate candy, replaced the green M&M’s high-heeled go-go boots with sneakers.
At the time, Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America, said the changes were made to make the characters more “representative of the customer.”
The changes sparked controversy from conservatives like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who said the female M&Ms were now “less sexy” with their new footwear.
In January 2022, Carlson said on his show that “M&Ms 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.”
The timing of Mars Wrigley’s move to rebrand again without the spokescandies is notable.
Nearly three years ago, on January 23, 2020, Planters nuts killed Mr. Peanut — the face of the brand for more than 100 years — in a pre-Super Bowl ad.
The brand’s new mascot, also a humanized peanut, was born during a February 2020 Super Bowl commercial, in which he was introduced as Baby Nut.
By December 2020, the new mascot was deemed a fully grown peanut by December 2020, Esquire reported at the time.
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