Emmy Griffin / January 25, 2023

‘Feminist’ and ‘Inclusive’ M&M’s Pulled After Heavy Criticism

Going woke wasn’t a sweet idea. Consumers were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

M&M’s, the candy-coated chocolate, has a series of “spokescandies” that have been used to advertise the sweet treat. Over the course of last year, the spokescandies became increasingly woke, or, as Jane Hwang, global vice president of Mars, put it, “modern.”

Mars Wrigley — the company that owns M&M’s — trotted out a plus-sized purple female character for inclusivity. The purple M&M also has nuts, though, so it’s perhaps gender-confused?

Mars also revamped the brown and green M&M to make them less feminine and is even playing with the gender and sexuality of green and orange characters.

Yes, apparently Mars thinks candy has a gender and sexuality.

The latest campaign featured the female characters upside down on a candy bag with the ad slogan, “Supporting Women, Flipping the Status Quo.” Why are they pushing this? Chief marketing officer Gabrielle Wesley stated, “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.” Is that really candy’s purpose? Is candy really an appropriate venue for identity politics?

This wokeification of candy has predictably sparked a lot of backlash from many people.

One YouTuber put it this way: “[M&M’s is] pandering to the woke idiots instead of giving a sh*t about actual issues that this chocolate company has been a part of for quite a while. You know, like the fact that many of their employees are children.” For the record, it is in fact true that there is a lawsuit regarding child slavery against big chocolate. Mars, Nestlé, and Hershey are all named in the suit.

The backlash was so severe that Mars decided to pull the M&M characters entirely. According to Mars’s public statement:

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 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.

In other words, Mars is mad at conservatives for noticing and is trying to trivialize its woke statements by saying people were mad about the shoes. This is typical leftist blame-shifting. Instead of defending its choices or saying, Yes, politicizing candy was dumb and hurt our bottom line, Mars blames it on the Right. People noticing the woke agenda that is actively harming our culture is not the reason sales flopped. It’s because Mars decided to make a political statement, one that even a sizable portion of women are offended by.

Candy going woke isn’t going to convince anyone, but it’s certainly great fodder for satirists. The best example of the mockery is seen in a Babylon Bee video of a “trans” M&M identifying as a Skittle. Enjoy.

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