The M&M controversy, which is a phrase most people never thought would exist, may be coming to a close tomorrow during the Superbowl commercial according to voice actor Billy West.
West, who credits his role as the Red M&M as “keeping him from driving a truck,” assured us that he would continue to portray this character. The Red M&M was initially voiced by comedian Jon Lovitz starting in 1995. West took over the role in 1996.
The M&M spokes-candies have appeared in various forms since 1954, but it wasn’t until 1995 that the much-evolved characters became regular television stars. They appeared as characters interacting with celebrities in 1994, but the real campaign didn’t begin until the following year. While Red and Yellow were the initial characters introduced, Blue, Green, Orange, Tan, Brown, and Purple would join the team over time (though Tan didn’t last long). The Green M&M was depicted as female and attractive, in reference to the urban legend that this color was an aphrodisiac. Ms. Brown was also depicted as female.
The controversy began when Mars Wrigley announced in January 2022 that they would be redesigning the characters. The changes included more casual footwear for the female M&M’s and making the animation models “less sexy.” Amber Ruffin also voiced a new Purple M&M.
Conservative media outlets expressed outrage at the changes, portraying them as another battle in the culture wars. Tucker Carlson recently revisited the topic on his show, saying “Woke M&M’s have returned. The green M&M got her boots back, but apparently is now a lesbian maybe? And there is also a plus-sized, obese purple M&M.” Oddly, Carlson used reference pictures of Green and Brown from 2015.
Mars Wrigley, in response, made a fictitious announcement that the spokes candies were being retired and would be replaced by comedian Maya Rudolph. Subsequent teasers have shown Rudolph hijacking the M&M brand, renaming them to “Ma&Ya’s” and stating that their chocolate would be replaced by clams. The M&M characters were depicted as “exploring their outside passions”, and collaborating with other brands such as Cheddar, eBay, Snickers, Spotify, and Zappos.
However, all this controversy may be coming to an end.
West, during an interview with Fandom Spotlite, stated:
“I’m still doing M&M’s commercials, despite what you’ve heard. You’ll find out tomorrow. All your answers are in the Superbowl tomorrow. Because they’ll show um… they’ll show a… a commercial. And, you know, it’ll hopefully end all the controversy.”
Could such a commercial heal the divisions in the United States that were caused by these character redesigns and “woke” candy? Or will this only add fuel to the fire that threatens the very fabric of life as we know it? And are these questions too dramatic? The answers are “that would be nice,” “more than likely,” and “most definitely.”
Be sure to check out the M&M Superbowl commercial to see this potential resolution unfold.