M&M's Says Its 'Spokescandies' Are Retiring Amid Conservative Culture War

"Now we get it—even a candy’s shoe’s can be polarizing," the company said.
The purple M&M

Amid conservative outrage over an imaginary, candy-based culture war, the M&M’s brand has announced that it’s retiring its 69 year old spokescandies.

“America, let’s talk,” the M&M’s account tweeted on Monday. “In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. 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 shoe’s can be polarizing.”


The company goes on to say that the characters are on an “indefinite pause,” and actor Maya Rudolph will take their place as spokesperson.

The anthropomorphic candies have been part of M&M’s branding since 1954, and have gone through multiple evolutions, including introducing female characters. The green M&M has been sexualized in M&M’s ads over the years since her introduction in 1997—a legacy parent company Mars seems to be trying to turn around through girlbossification.

It’s unclear what controversy, specifically, the announcement is referring to, but the shoes comment is a clue. In January 2021, conservative pundit and culture warrior Tucker Carlson lost his mind over a different M&M’s advertising campaign, in which the female-coded candies swapped their knee-high boots and stiletto heels for more practical footwear. 

“M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous,” Carlson said during a rant about the change. “Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal. When you are totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity.”

Naturally, the clip of Carlson saying this went extremely viral and was endlessly dunked on, including by California congressman Eric Swalwell, who tweeted, “You… wanted to have a drink… with an M&M? #DeeperIssues”


In early January, of this year the M&M’s brand announced new packaging that only featured green, brown, and purple candies (the femme versions of the characters) alongside a contest for consumers to nominate inspirational women for a chance to win $10,000.

The M&M’s company said that the campaign was “celebrating women across the country who are flipping the status quo.” 

Shortly after that announcement, Carlson again caught onto this news and was not pleased. 

In a segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson noted that the green M&M is “now a lesbian maybe,” referring to a years-old tweet about the green and brown ones, and that the purple M&M is “obese.” (All of the M&M characters are shaped like round candies with stick legs and arms.) 

All of this, including M&M’s announcement to put the characters out of their misery, is part of an endless cycle of brands versus outrage jockeys, locked in a battle for relevance. With the Super Bowl two weeks away, we could be looking at another Mr. Peanut situation, where the spokesnut died as part of a Super Bowl ad campaign, and was then reborn as a baby nut.

Inclusion-pandering from a company that makes $40 billion a year isn’t actually helpful to real-life, non-candy coated, marginalized human beings—a point Carlson could make if he thought slightly deeper about the topic. Instead, he’s decided to get repeatedly frothed up about a company complicating his ability to fantasize about fucking M&M’s. Best of luck to Maya Rudolph in her new role.