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M&Ms Drops Candy Spokespeople After Backlash to Purple Character

Mars says actress Maya Rudolph will be replacing its spokecandies following a controversy over one character's shoes.
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M&M's may not melt in your hand, but the button-shaped chocolates have wilted in the face of white-hot right wing outrage.

Mars said on Jan. 23 that it was taking "an indefinite pause" from its spokescandies that have raised the ire of conservative pundits. 

“In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies,” the company said in a statement. “We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet.”

"But now we get it--even a candy's shoes can be polarizing,"  the statement continued. "Which was the last thing M&M's wanted since we're all about bringing people together."

The candy-colored controversy started last year when M&M's listened to long-standing criticism about how the two female characters were obviously sexualized -- in older advertisements, Green and Brown were sometimes presented as "competing" for the male M&M's while Green would strike "sexy" poses.

In January 2022, M&M's announced that it was giving the M&M's characters a new "look, personalities and backstories" to be more in line with and "representative of today's society."

Green was given sneakers instead of high-heeled boots, while Brown's heels were less dramatic. Their poses were also reworked.

And the madness began.

Spokescandies Stoke Controversy

Fox News host Tucker Carlson fumed that M&M would not stop until every character was "deeply unappealing and totally androgynous" and that equity would only be achieved when "you are totally turned off."

In September, Mars said that it was adding another color to the its six-candy lineup. A peanut M&M wearing combat boots and believing in "acceptance and inclusivity," Purple was initially only part of ads and online campaigns.

And then earlier this month, M&M's announced the launch of a limited edition candy package featuring Green, Brown, and Purple in an "all-female" lineup and once again.

Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum went into a purple haze, railing on about how this kind of package "weakens" the U.S. on the global stage.

News of the indefinite pause hit a sour note on social media.

"Let’s take the candy out of this," one tweet read. "Your advertising was based on supporting women. You are now backing down from it because a conservative talk show host didn’t like supporting women. See, if you take the candy out of it, it’s a pretty crappy thing you did."

Mars said actress and "Saturday Night Live" alum Maya Rudolph will step up to replace the banished characters, describing her as "a spokesperson America can agree on."

Don't bet on it...