Maya Rudolph is set to become the new face of M&M’s following a recent redesign of the candy’s iconic mascots that left conservative pundits furious.
In a press release shared on Monday, candy company Mars announced that its “spokecandies” will be placed on an “indefinite pause” after the redesign sparked mixed reactions. “America, let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokecandies,” the statement reads. “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."
In place of the anthropomorphic candies, which first made an appearance in advertising for M&M products in the '50s, the brand will introduce Maya Rudolph as its new spokesperson. “We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong,” the statement concludes.
In comments provided to Today.com, the former Saturday Night Live star said she is “thrilled” to be working with M&M’s. “I am a lifelong lover of the candy and I feel like it’s such an honor to be asked to be part of such a legendary brand’s campaign," she said. "It’s a very fun pairing, if I do say so myself. I think little Maya would be thrilled to get to work with M&M’s." She will make her debut as the new spokesperson in a Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Earlier this month, Mars Inc. introduced redesigned M&M’s mascots as part of a more inclusive overhaul. The brand said it would embrace an “updated tone of voice” that aims to keep inclusivity at the center of its messaging, in an effort to “bring people together.”
Responses to the M&M’s was mostly laughed off by people on Twitter, with many lamenting the uselessness of M&M’s being “inclusive” since they’re just inanimate candies. Right-wing personalities such as Tucker Carlson, however, were much more upset about the optics of “woke M&M’s.”
Per Forbes, Carlson hosted a segment that opened with him stating, "Woke M&M's have returned." Carlson also speculated on the sexuality of one of the M&M's, and questioned the size of another. "The green M&M got her boots back, but apparently is now a lesbian, maybe?" he said. "And there's also a plus-sized, obese purple M&M, so we're gonna cover that, of course. Because that's what we do.”