Following controversy following its mascot revamp last year, M&M’s announced Monday that it is taking an “indefinite hiatus” from using its candy-coated mascots, saying the “last thing M&M’s wanted” was to “polarize.”
M&Ms said in a tweet that it instead taps actor Maya Rudolph as a spokesperson, someone the brand said “America can agree.”
M&M’s parent company Mars Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Rudolph representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
M&M’s “spoke scandies” have drawn the wrath of right-wing outlets like Fox News in recent weeks after the company announced a new “Flip the Status Quo” campaign. The campaign raised money to support women in the creative industries and included limited edition candy bags featuring the three female ghost candies.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson railed against “awake M&Ms” in a recent broadcast. He made similar complaints about the candies last January after M&M’s announced a new, inclusive look.
In its statement on Monday, M&M’s said it “definitely didn’t think the internet was going to break down.”
“But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing,” the brand wrote. “That’s the last thing M&M’s wanted since it’s all about bringing people together.”
The brand said it is “convinced” that Rudolph “will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels like they belong.”
Many online reacted with shock and disappointment to the announcement.
“They fired the M&Ms,” says one user wrote.
“Give me back my sexy green m&m,” wrote another user.
Others speculated the announcement could be a publicity stunt ahead of the Super Bowl, which takes place on Feb. 12.
“It’s January 23rd they literally killed Mr. Peanut on January 22nd 2020 this is a blatant nibble for a bad super bowl ad scheme” says one user wrotereferring to when Planters said Mr. Peanut died during a 2020 pre-Super Bowl ad.