Just when you thought the world “canceled” way too many people already, know that even animated brand mascots aren’t safe anymore — specifically the green M&M and their shoes; Mars’ choice to switch the cartoon’s footwear from heels to sneakers received backlash. As a result, the chocolate company ditched the allegedly sexist M&Ms and made Maya Rudolph the spokesperson instead
If you haven’t been in the know as to why this has become a significant topic, let’s take a quick dive.
The M&M Controversy
Recently, the green M&M underwent a minor makeover — the “spokescandy” ditched their thigh-high heels and replaced them with sneakers. The Mars company (owner of the chocolate brand M&Ms) said that this was to empower women as green M&M should be a reflection of a confident woman.
Mars company eventually replaced other M&M characters’ footwear (like the brown one who wore stilettos in the past but was soon replaced with kitten heels) and they introduced a new spokescandy — a purple one.
The purple M&M was supposed to represent “inclusivity” but the internet got out of hand — they started claiming that purple M&M was transgender and that the whole sexist M&M topic was allegedly a ploy by China; some say it was because China wanted the US to be busy talking about M&Ms (so the country will be distracted long enough for China to steal mineral deposits from all over the world). This claim, of course, is a joke that’s satire in nature.
However, because of the attention that the M&M spokescandies (and their colors as well as shoes) received, Mars company eventually had to issue a statement that they’ll be working on their cartoon spokescandies to please their consumers. For now, Maya Rudolph will be the new face of the chocolate brand.
M&M spokescandies aren’t the only characters that had to undergo rebranding — countless celebrities and public figures also had to address issues attached to them because of the “woke” and “cancel” culture.
The “Woke” and “Cancel” Culture
The term “woke” has African-American roots. It used to be a slang that meant “awake.” But since most words, languages, and slangs evolve, being “woke” now means being aware of social matters. Since the Black Lives Matter movement, more Millennials and Gen Zs now use this word more frequently — to stay woke means to stay true to one’s liberal views when it comes to racial equality, feminism, LGBTQ+ activism, and many more injustices.
As with many ideologies, there will always be people with more extreme views than others. Some “woke” ones have a more radical approach — instead of challenging politicians and other public figures about their views, they solicit conflict and necessitate debates even without full knowledge as to how social injustices can actually be resolved; many “woke” individuals protest and order “change” as soon as they find something or someone to call out.
It’s not just the “woke” people who are getting more aggressive. “Cancel” culture people, too, are out there demanding some public figures be canceled — even if it’s unnecessary. The “cancel” culture now misconstrues the terms “blackface,” “cultural appropriation,” and “gatekeeping.” These phrases took on different meanings now and they’re blindly used.
Long Story Short…
Mars company was recently called out for their — allegedly — sexist M&Ms. Because of this, Maya Rudolph will take over these spokescandies until the chocolate company figures out how to please the “woke” and “cancel” culture simultaneously. However, as valid and agreeable as these cultures’ ideologies are, sometimes, the ones with more extreme views are taking on more radical approaches and measures to get what they want.
Voicing out and protesting about injustice, prejudice, and inequality are all ideal steps that a person can take in order to see changes in the system and the country — but the system also has to undergo certain measures. Thus, these changes that people want to see in the country cannot be resolved and noticed within minutes or hours — Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.