M&Ms go ‘woke’


Ava Stone

M&Ms are small chocolates covered in a sugar coated shell, which prevents them from melting in warmer temperatures.

Venkata Sri Saiveer Chelliboyina, Perspectives Reporter

M&M’s ‘spokes candies’ are being replaced by actress Maya Rudolph as the brand’s mascot.  Either this is a major change for the brand or a contrived publicity stunt prior to the Super Bowl. 

M&M candies were first created in the 1940s as chocolates coated with a sugar shell so that it does not melt in warm weather. This meant that they could be sold year-round, and initially carried the slogan “the milk chocolate melts in your mouth—not in your hand.”

The news broke after a series of minor changes to the M&M characters caused backlash on the internet. What started as a group of Computer Generated (CG) chocolate mascots that entertained audiences in theaters before the movies played, has slowly turned into a corporate attempt at promoting inclusivity to create a better public image. 

Last year, the green M&M character’s high-heel boots were replaced with sneakers and the brown M&M character switched to slightly lower heels. While the company initially said they “weren’t sure if anyone would even notice” the changes, they were soon scrutinized for trying to make the candy characters more androgynous. 

Television host Tucker Carlson has popularly labeled the company as “going woke”. His words caught on and Mars Inc. received heavy backlash. Carlson criticized the company for attempting to highlight diversity and inclusivity by introducing obese and LGBTQ+ personalities to these candy characters. 

Mars recently released an “all-female” package that celebrated “women everywhere who are flipping the status quo.” As expected, this move received more backlash after the company changed the shoes of the “female” M&M characters. 

Earlier this month, the company announced it was getting rid of the candy mascots because they were too “polarizing for Americans”.

This drama has been heavily blown out of proportion. M&Ms can be as culturally sensitive and progressive as they want because at the end of the day, they are just candy in a package. The characters exist as a fun prelude before movies and serve as commercial tools to increase sales.

The bottom line is that this issue is not that deep. 

This whole situation may be a means of getting more attention for this year’s M&M Super Bowl ad that supposedly stars Maya Rudolph. Still, the fact that society turned the shoes of colored candy characters into a massive online kerfuffle is hilarious.