A screengrab from Tucker Carlson’s Friday Fox News show. (FOX News)
M&M’s — the beloved candy-coated chocolate candy made by Mars — unveiled a few changes to its longtime group of cartoon mascots this week: giving the brown M&M “kitten heels” rather than her signature stilettos and changing out the green M&M’s boots for sneakers.
The relatively benign changes were meant to promote “inclusivity” and bring the female-presenting characters in line with “current” trends that are more “representative of our consumer,” the company’s president, Anton Vincent said.
But in a bizarre twist of events, right-wing commentators have seized on the changes as representative of a larger “cancel culture” sweeping the country — with Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday connecting Mars’ decision to make its cartoons “less sexy” to the decline of American society.
“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,” he said. “That’s the goal.”
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“When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity,” he added.
To be entirely fair to the controversial Fox host, the sexual magnetism exuded by the green M&M has long been a surrealist meme found in the horniest corners of the internet — a phenomenon that started on Tumblr at some point over the last few years, according to an explainer in Forbes.
Still, Carlson became the subject of much mockery online for his opinions on the matter, which quickly went viral.
“We truly live on the dumbest of parallel earths,” one user wrote.
“You… wanted to have a drink… with an M&M? #DeeperIssues,” Rep. Eric Swalwell added.
Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.