The Sexy Green M&M vs. Tucker Carlson Drama, Explained

Tucker Carlson might love to cry about the tyrannical grip of cancel culture, but this time, it looks like the call is coming from inside a certain baby-faced Fox News host’s gingerbread house.

Remember last year, when the powers that be behind M&M’s candies decided to swap out the green M&M’s classic go-go boots for a pair of sneakers? The internet was furious, but seemingly no one took it harder than Carlson, who railed against the “less sexy” green M&M as just the start of a slippery, candy-coated slope.

To be clear, Carlson was not the first or only fully grown adult to speak out about the changes made to M&M’s animated candy representatives last year. Twitter was also mad, and Rolling Stone was downright livid. The “spokescandies,” first introduced in 1995 in response to disappointing sales, have apparently become an integral part of American culture. And part of that deal (as solidified through memes before any of this was a formal debate) has always been that the green M&M, whose go-go boots were created solely to give her sexy ankles, simply must be hot.

But no one seemed quite as personally invested in the green M&M’s sex appeal as Carlson apparently was. In fact, Carlson’s apparently so invested that he recently returned to the subject with a new rant: “Woke M&Ms have returned.”

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Mars

And now? In the face of heated public pressure, it seems the powers that be at Big M&M have sweated off their makeup, like candy-coated chocolates trapped in a glove compartment. Or maybe they just recognize the PR opportunity this faux right-wing outrage can represent; take your pick.

On Monday, M&M’s announced that its “spokescandies” have been put on an “indefinite pause” in favor of a representative “we can all agree on”—Maya Rudolph, who will make her debut in a Super Bowl ad.

Let us all pause now to ask, “…What?”

First of all: “spokescandies”? As in, brand ambassadors for candy who are also, themselves, candies? Why go with “spokescandies” when the word “candybassadors” was right there? But anyway, we have bigger candies to crush.

“America, let’s talk,” M&M’s wrote in its statement. “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.”

In a statement provided to NBC’s, Rudolph said she’s “thrilled” at the opportunity. “I am a lifelong lover of the candy,” she wrote, “and I feel like it’s such an honor to be asked to be part of such a legendary brand’s campaign.”

These are brave words for the person replacing a fictional M&M, whose new sneakers have apparently prompted an all-out culture war.

In a totally normal segment about the issue last January, Carlson told his audience, “M&M’s will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them. That’s the goal.”

This year, he followed that up with the same ideas, albeit perhaps a little less gusto: “The green M&M got her boots back, but apparently is now a lesbian, maybe?” Carlson told his audience during a recent segment. “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.”

The purple M&M, introduced last fall, is a peanut M&M, hence her oval-shaped body. If we want to get particular about this, her body is actually slimmer than the other female “spokescandies,” green and brown, who are both perfectly round.

There’s reason to wonder (and at least one person on the internet has) whether whoever hates the new M&M’s “spokescandies” because Tucker told them to will react any better to Maya Rudolph—a Saturday Night Live alum who, lately, has become best known for playing Vice President Kamala Harris. Then again, what’s one more surreal twist in perhaps our stupidest discourse since that time everyone started arguing about whether Harry Styles really spat on Chris Pine.

But hold on for just one more candy-chomping second. Can we go back to the part where Tucker Carlson, supposed hater of cancel culture, just canceled a bunch of animated candies?

Is Tucker proud of himself now that the green M&M, robbed of her sex appeal, is now also unemployed? Is he prepared to answer to her (non-canonical) husband, and to their children (whom I imagine as M&M Minis)? Does this delicious mess trace back to that (inaccurate) theory he has about women pushing men out of the labor force? Lots to think about.

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