Throw a bag of Purple M&Ms on top of Mickey Mouse and Balenciaga in the slowly growing pile of companies with failed woke policies.

In case you aren’t a savage-toothed candy controversy addict, let me catch you up to speed. 

A year ago, Mars Wrigley decided it was time to publicize a makeover for their anthropomorphized chocolate characters.

Various M&M’s shoes were swapped out to be more “representative of [the] consumer” because according to the president of Mars Wrigley North America, “Every brand has to continuously reinvent itself to remain relevant.” The company intended to signal to consumers shared values, that “belonging” was of the utmost importance to these candy creations.

Fast forward to September, when M&Ms accepted a new character into their gang in honor of International Women’s Day, the Purple M&M. 

According to Mars, Purple was “designed to represent acceptance and inclusivity.” She should be recognized for her “earnest self-authenticity and confidence.” She is intended to be a queer-friendly feminist icon for this colorful candy world.

On his show, Tucker Carlson addressed this circus with heavy notes of irony in his voice, “The green M&M got her boots back, but apparently is now a lesbian, maybe? 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.”

For his analysis, Carlson received harsh criticism from the NY Times and Forbes. The latter posed the question, “Does anyone really care if brands co-opt stale social justice rhetoric to sell candy?”

The answer should be a resounding “Yes!”

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What these media outlets refuse to understand is that this is political.

In fact, all things are political.

Though the NY Times argues that the characters were “not weighing in on abortion or the storage of classified documents”, their makeover was indeed a political statement.

Aristotle says man is a “political animal”, uniquely endowed apart from all other animals with the capacity for speech, and therefore the responsibility to the polis, the public square.

The advertisement schemes that catch our eye matter. The social policy that companies push matters. The story of reality that we tell one another matters.

Mars knows this too. That was the reason for the rebrand in the first place.

Though their
statement plays the victim to a merciless consumer, “now we get it – even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing,” this company understands that this issue was always political.

This is a classic case of what commentator Ben Shapiro calls “face tattoo syndrome.” Something outrageous and decidedly unordinary plants itself on the face of our public square, but the one who gapes at it is the one condemned.

The American people were right to criticize. And though I disagree with them politically, Mars was wrong to cave. 

Had Mars found the strength to stand on its candy-coated political backbone, an honest war of political ideas could have ensued. However, they deemed the price too high to dabble in political pursuits. And thus, M&Ms acquiesced.

So say goodbye to their “spokescandies” altogether. 

It was easier than taking candy from a baby.

Catie Robertson is an intern with the Convention of States Project, a project of Citizens for Self-Government.


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