M&M’s replaces cartoon ‘spokescandies’ with Maya Rudolph

M&M’s replaces cartoon ‘spokescandies’ with Maya Rudolph

After its mascot refresh controversy last year, M&M's announced Monday that it is taking an "indefinite pause" from using its candy-coated mascots, saying the "last thing M&M’s wanted" was to be "polarizing."

M&M’s said in a tweet that it is instead tapping actor Maya Rudolph as its spokesperson, someone the brand said "America can agree on."

Representatives for Rudolph did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Maya Rudolph at the 2020 Academy Awards (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic file)
Maya Rudolph at the 2020 Academy Awards (Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic file)

Rudolph told TODAY.com that she is “thrilled” to represent the brand in a Super Bowl ad on Feb. 12.

“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,” Rudolph said.

An M&M’s spokesperson confirmed Rudolph's first appearance as its spokesperson will be during the Super Bowl.

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Rudolph's new role will "allow the colorful cast of M&M’S spokescandies to step away and embrace a new path to pursue other passions," the M&M’s spokesperson said.

M&M’s "spokescandies" have provoked the ire of right-wing outlets like Fox News in recent weeks after the company announced a new “Flip the Status Quo” campaign. The campaign, which raised money to support women in creative industries, featured limited-edition candy bags with the three female "spokescandies."

Fox News host Tucker Carlson railed against “woke M&Ms” in a recent broadcast. He made similar complaints about the candies last January after M&M’s announced a new, inclusive look.

The M&M’s spokesperson did not address the backlash from Fox News directly but said the brand's "decision isn’t a reaction to but rather is in support of our M&M’S brand and has been in the works for a while.”

In its statement Monday, M&M’s said it "definitely didn’t think it would break the internet."

“But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing," it wrote. "Which is the last thing M&M’s wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.”

The brand said it is "confident" that Rudolph "will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels like they belong.”

Many responded online with shock and disappointment.

"They fired the M&Ms," a user wrote.

"give me back my sexy green m&m," wrote another user.

Some fans liked the change, while others felt M&M's should have gone with another celebrity.

"Replacing the all-female M&M spokescandies with Maya Rudolph is some next-level trolling," a person wrote.

"Maya Rudolph is a living legend, but I’m genuinely curious if they considered Eminem because... well... you know," another said.

Others online quickly caught on to the Super Bowl tie-in.

"It’s January 23 they literally murdered Mr Peanut on Jan 22 2020, this is an obvious chumming of waters for a bad super bowl ad plan," a user wrote, referring to when Planters said Mr. Peanut had died in a pre-Super Bowl ad in 2020.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com