M&M’s dropped bittersweet news on Monday, announcing that the "beloved spokescandies" are too polarizing and that the cartoon chocolates would be put on an "indefinite pause" after widespread backlash to recent changes that were widely considered "woke."
The candy maker has taken steps to become more inclusive, but those plans have melted away – at least until the Super Bowl on Feb. 12.
"America, let’s talk. 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," the company tweeted.
"Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies. In their place, we are proud to introduce a spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph," the candy company continued. "We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong."
Some responded by mocking M&M’s for going "woke" in the first place, while others suggested the announcement is some sort of Super Bowl ad campaign stunt. Rudolph will be in some sort of Super Bowl ad for the candy company but has remained mum on details.
Either way, the candy juggernaut is clearly aware that many were peeved about polarizing changes to the iconic mascots.
Earlier this month, M&M’s creator Mars announced "all-female" candy wrappers to honor women who are "flipping the status quo." The feminist-forward candy wrappers exclusively displayed M&M’s female characters: the green, brown and most recently introduced purple M&M. In addition to featuring only the three female M&M’s on the wrappers, each package in the limited run was expected to include only the corresponding green, brown and purple candy-coated chocolates.
The notion of "all-female" candy wrappers irked many conservatives, who didn’t understand why a chocolate manufacturer was getting involved in identity politics in the first place. The move was the most recent in a series of marketing moves M&M’s has made to promote inclusivity. Its previous announcement involved the introduction of the purple female M&M who represents body positivity and self-acceptance.
Early in 2022, Mars announced it would alter its mascots to "reflect the more dynamic, progressive world that we live in," saying the "refreshed M&M’s brand will include a more modern take on the looks of our beloved characters." Changes included revamped footwear for some of the characters.
Critics on both sides of the political spectrum took to Twitter with thoughts on M&M's announcement.
In 2017, the company announced it would be "spending a billion dollars through the next few years to reduce their carbon footprint."
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.