It’s late & I gotta work tomorrow, but I can’t find anyone else on DK covering this. I’ll likely update soon, but here’s the basics: On Thursday morning (1/23, 7:45AM) Mars, Inc., via a post on the M&M Twitter account, announced the iconic animated characters representing the multi-colored candy pieces sold in the familiar dark brown (Plain) and yellow (Peanut) bags will be put on “indefinite pause”.
“But now we get it- even a candies’ shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.
Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies.”
(I don’t do links to Twitter, you can find a photo of the post on the Fast Company website: www.fastcompany.com/...)
Even Forbes had the stones to state things plainly.
Candy company Mars announced Monday it is putting its M&M’s“spokescandies”— the brand’s anthropomorphic sugary mascots—on an “indefinite pause,” after a new rollout featuring the characters became the subject of attacks from conservative pundits like Tucker Carlson, nearly one year after the brand received backlash for its “woke” M&M’S.
website updated 1/23: www.forbes.com/...
Other outlets relate the tale of how the M&M branding division of massive Mars, Inc. sought to bring the personalities and…styling, I guess…into the almost-21st century. The reaction from RW culture warriors was swift. Certainly more people had M&Ms in their past than Mister/M(r)s. Potato Head, so going after the long overdue update of a decades-old conception of Average American Women was green-light-go. Tuck provided the easiest material for satirical comedy bits, but this was one culture war where the Anti-Woke Crew found fertile ground.
The reference in the M&M Twitter post to shoes wasn’t just wry humor. Changes on the shoes worn by the female characters became the lightning rods for use by Anti-Woke as a stand-in for their opposition to any attempts to de-objectify women. The cute, girly female M&Ms OK (but no less demeaning) in the 80’s needed something akin to a image of women that women in 2022 could relate to. The website Fast Company chronicled:
Orange got a pair of shoes with tied laces, Brown got lower heels, and Green went from high heels to sneakers.
I think the sneakers was the change that really ticked off the Tuck-Types. I didn’t read any “dyke” insults, but I’m sure they wouldn’t be too hard to find.
In place of the candy characters, M&M/Mars is going with actor Maya Rudolph, who of course feels like “it’s such an honor to be asked to be part of such a legendary brand’s campaign.” It ain’t about Maya, so she doesn’t deserved to get trashed for taking a gig once Mars decided on their own what to do with the animated characters.
Of course any pushback on why Mars suspended the characters will be met with RW hotbreath about cancel culture, and the long list of those banned from public spaces ‘cuz of what they said and did. False equivalence as always.
Freedom for Anti-Woke requires taking freedom from others, in the idea that if their chosen image of America (and who can identify as an American) is not the preeminent, dominant portrayal of American life, no other image is allowed to exist. Mr. Potato and M&Ms stay the same, and no, no one is allowed a different interpretation. This is different from taking provocative speech off social media platforms advocating for the dismemberment of U.S. democracy or re-enslavement of Black people drip-by-drip. Banning books about topics you don’t like isn’t the same as removing symbols celebrating enslavement of Black people from publicly owned places and putting them in a museum context.
And make no mistake. When no one is allowed to identify as-or-with any group other than the prototype White Christian Male (or one of the helpling subgroups conditioned to believe it’s possible to wannabe oneself from despised-to-favored status), when public display of images or narratives from, by, or depicting groups despised by Anti-Woke subject the venue and its promoters to violence and death...I could go on...it’s only a short hop to the Anti-woke view the people they believe those images represent should not be allowed to exist, or have rights needing in any way to be acknowledged. This is not being over dramatic. Corporations based in-or-operating branches in states with abortion bans will have to face the prospect that if they provide health insurance to their women associates seeking reproductive care, there’s BS at the very least.
There’s a lot more going on in the world than candy characters, but I thought someone should document it.