Can’t we let the green M&M keep her boots? Candy ad overhaul is inclusivity run amok

Joyce Marshall/Star-Telegram/Joyce Marshall
·2 min read

Anyone who felt they were different as a child is on board with supporting diversity and inclusion to some extent. But Mars Inc., the company behind M&M’s, announced that it will remake the candies in its TV ads to be more “inclusive.” This will include modern makeovers and more “nuanced personalities.”

Y’all, we’ve gone too far.

In a country that’s closer to gender parity than ever before, where the Supreme Court decided a transgender woman can win a discrimination suit and change case law, and where we’re entering year three of a pandemic, we’re now super-worried about fictional candy characters? How is this a thing, as the kids say?

On Thursday Mars announced a “global commitment to creating a world where everyone feels they belong and society is inclusive.” The brand said it wants to increase the “sense of belonging for 10 million people around the world by 2025,” so the M&M characters — you know the candies with “legs” and “arms” and “faces” — will now be more modern, progressive and inclusive.

The green candy, who looks seductive in her white boots, will now wear sneakers. The brown one will have her high heels lowered. Because it’s fine to sell little pellets of sugar, but don’t you dare make it suggestive.

“As one of the world’s most iconic candy brands, who better to commit to a world with more moments of fun by increasing a sense of belonging around the globe than M&M’s?” Cathryn Sleight, Mars Wrigley’s chief growth officer, said in a written statement.

Look, if you felt insecure looking down at the M&M’s in your hand before tossing them in your mouth at the movies, changing the shoes on a fake candy isn’t going to help you feel more included.

I can’t tell what’s more impressive: The fact that a PR stunt to make people talk about the world’s most common candy actually worked or the fact that the company went so far as to make it sound like it was progressive — as in, they seem to actually care?

The idea that more inclusive candy commercials will somehow make women feel better is too much. All I care about is that they melt in my mouth, not in my hand.

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