What does M&M stand for? Why chocolate brand has changed characters and Tucker Carlson comments explained

The US Fox News TV host suggested the new M&M’s characters were ‘unsexy’ and said he wouldn’t want to go for a drink with any of them

<p>Fox News TV host Tucker Carlson criticised M&M’s for becoming ‘unsexy’ after the brand introduced an inclusivity drive (image: Getty Images)</p>

Fox News TV host Tucker Carlson criticised M&M’s for becoming ‘unsexy’ after the brand introduced an inclusivity drive (image: Getty Images)

Fox News host and potential future Republican US presidential candidate Tucker Carlson is one of America’s most divisive figures.

A leading personality in stoking culture wars, Carlson frequently delivers angry monologues criticising everything from the so-called ‘woke’ agenda to Black Lives Matter, and has also been accused of spreading misinformation about Covid-19.

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But his latest target has surprised many people: M&M’s.

The seemingly inoffensive sugary shelled chocolate buttons stoked his ire after parent company Mars announced they would be overhauled.

So how have M&M’s changed - and what did Tucker Carlson say about them?

Here’s what you need to know.

M&M’s have been around for more than 80 years (image: Getty Images)

How has Mars changed M&M’s?

At 80-years-old, M&M’s have been around for longer than most people on earth have been alive.

The two ‘M’s in the name represent the names of Forrest E. Mars senior - the founder of Mars - and Bruce Murrie, who was the son of Hershey Chocolate’s president William F. R. Murrie.

Since first going on sale in 1941, M&M’s have gone from being sold in drab-looking plastic tubes to being given colourful personalities via mascots, which now have worldwide recognition.

It is these mascots - and their looks - that Mars has announced it will be changing to make the brand more inclusive.

For example, the green M&M has had its white go-go boots swapped out for a pair of trainers.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he feels like Mars will not stop until all the M&M’s characters had become ‘deeply unappealing and totally androgynous’ (image: Getty Images)

On the brand’s promotional website, the character says: “I think we all win when we see more women in leading roles, so I’m happy to take on the part of supportive friend when they succeed.”

Meanwhile, the brown M&M has had its signature heels replaced with lower pumps and the orange one has had its anxiety amplified.

In a statement announcing the changes, Mars said M&M’s had evolved “to reflect the more dynamic, progressive world that we live in”.

“The refreshed M&M’s brand will include a more modern take on the looks of our beloved characters, as well as more nuanced personalities to underscore the importance of self-expression and power of community through storytelling,” the statement read.

“M&M’s branding will also reflect an updated tone of voice that is more inclusive, welcoming, and unifying, while remaining rooted in our signature jester wit and humor.”

What did Tucker Carlson say?

In the current political climate, any talk of inclusivity always leads to some sections of society frothing at the mouth.

Especially, the host of a TV show on a TV channel that relies on anger and division to boost its audience figures.

Tucker Carlson attacked Mars’ move on his show, saying he was “turned off” by the new mascots.

He added that he believed M&M’s would 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. When you’re totally turned off, we’ve achieved equity.”

Why you’d want to have a drink with a cartoon character representing a sweets brand or even feel the need to find them sexy in order to eat them remains unclear.

But it appears Tucker Carlson may have been trying to use humour to make a point about not being enthused by Mars’ attempts to make its sweets more inclusive.

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