The Beloved M&M 'Spokescandies' Have Been 'Indefinitely' Retired After Criticism of Being Too 'Woke' The company made an announcement via social media on Monday morning.
In times of mass layoffs across industries, it seems that no one is safe — not even animated talking candies.
It's the end of an era for M&Ms, as the candy company has temporarily retired its once beloved "spokescandies" that have defined its advertising for decades.
The company took to its official Twitter account on Monday morning saying vast criticism has made the characters "polarizing" and that M&M's mission has always been about "bringing people together."
A message from M&M'S. pic.twitter.com/EMucEBTd9o— M&M'S (@mmschocolate) January 23, 2023
"We have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokes candies," the company wrote. "In their place, we are proud to introduce a spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph."
M&M's did not clarify what Rudolph's duties would entail, but based on all the prior commercial television spots and social media advertising the company has done, it's clear she'll have no shortage of airtime.
The pushback against the candy empire began earlier this month when it announced its new, "Flip the Status Quo" campaign, which featured bags of M&M's with three female characters flipped upside down on the wrapper in an attempt to show thanks to women that are "flipping the status quo everywhere."
Mars, M&M's parent company, pledged to donate $1 from every limited-edition bag sold to two different nonprofits up to $500,000. But the stunt brought in a slew of pushback from right-wing outlets and others on social media dubbing the candy as trying to be "woke."
However, Monday's news about retiring the characters was no different and brought in strong reactions on social media.
So hold on.— Joey M. (@JoeyFromPhilly) January 23, 2023
M&Ms just discontinued their candy animations because people were too offended that one of the candies was wearing boots?
And now Maya Rudolph is the new spokesperson for M&Ms?
My God, strong times really do create weak people.
WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON?
i've spoken to several devastated m&m's today who showed up to work to find that their wristbands were no longer valid for entry.— a wolf in wolf's clothing (@MostCrucified) January 23, 2023
If you're actually upset about the "shoes" a cartoon piece of candy "wears," seek help immediately— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) January 23, 2023
I am moving to a shack in the forest and am no longer participating in society.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 23, 2023
Others suggested this was a Super Bowl ad stunt, and the company was setting the table for a primetime commercial featuring Rudolph. Mars has not responded to the rumors.
Just last year, M&M's revealed that the spokescandies would be getting makeovers to present as a "more inclusive" bunch, including new outfits and characteristics.
Rudolph has not publicly reacted to the announcement yet.