People Are Really Upset About the 'All-Female' Character Bag of M&Ms The packaging spotlights the company's "dynamic female M&M'S characters," and Mars will be donating $1 from every bag sold to non-profits.
Mars, the maker of M&Ms, announced the sale of limited-time packages of M&Ms featuring its female character colors: purple, brown, and green. The trio of female M&Ms is shown upside-down on the bags' packaging, to "celebrate women everywhere who are flipping the status quo."
In a press release, chief marketing officer for Mars Wrigley North America Gabrielle Wesley explained, "The M&M'S brand is on a mission to use the power of fun to create purposeful connections, as we work to create a world where everyone feels they belong."
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The company is also putting money where its mouth is. Mars will be donating $1 from every bag sold to nonprofits She Is the Music and We Are Moving the Needle, up to $500,000, and the Female Founder Collective and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media also will receive a total of $300,000. And up until January 15, M&Ms is asking snackers to nominate an inspiring woman in their life to be featured on the M&M platforms and receive $10,000 to help fund their mission. (Go here if you have someone in mind.)
We're celebrating women across the country who are flipping the status quo! Help us shine the spotlight by nominating a woman in your life who is breaking barriers and paving a new path. Head to https://t.co/fgwVEG4joI to learn more! pic.twitter.com/YRxOXvPhXb— M&M'S (@mmschocolate) January 5, 2023
Naturally, some people are upset about gender-specific bags of pretend characters.
Fox News's Martha MacCallum decried the marketing stunt, saying "If this is what you need for validation, an M&M that is the color that you think is associated with feminism, then I'm worried about you." She continued, "I think that makes China say, 'Oh, good, keep focusing on that. Keep focusing on giving people their own color M&M'S while we take over all of the mineral deposits in the entire world.'"
No word on whether candy-maker Mars has any influence on where China mines rare metals, but MacCallum isn't the only one perturbed. Twitter features all kinds of NSFW reactions, ranging from outrage over "woke candy" to disappointment that the females are upside down. Some posts seem like jokes, while others do not.
This is not the first time M&M characters have crunched up some controversy. When Green traded her go-go boots for sneakers, and Brown started wearing sensible heels, Washington Post contributing columnist John Paul Brammer wrote that the candies were, "the latest victims of a misguided progressivism."
No matter where you stand on the candy culture war, one thing we can all agree on: M&Ms sure is good at marketing. When is the last time you felt anger or inspiration or…anything about a candy wrapper?