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The Battalion

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The Battalion

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Opinion: Gay candy or child slavery?

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m&m twitter

”No man is rich unless he enriches others,” wrote railroad titan Andrew Carnegie in “The Gospel of Wealth.”

Essentially, corporations, companies and “the rich” owe it to society to tend to their   material needs — to bear the burden of responsibility — The Corporate Social Responsibility. 

Never did I fathom in my 20 years of existence that I would mention Corporate Social Responsibility in the same breath as an “obese and distinctively frumpy lesbian” purple M&M. 

Yet here we are. 

On Jan. 23, M&M’s announced their famous spokes candies would be “indefinitely paused” and replaced with Maya Rudolph due to controversy surrounding their character lore.

 

Yes, character lore. 

Apparently, the M&Ms have quite rich private lives, even rivaling (hopefully not) our own. Although they aren’t real, these inner lives have been marred in controversy, beginning with the green M&M.  

In 2021, the green M&M had an outfit change, shocking indeed. She went from having hot heels to sensible sneakers to indicate she wouldn’t be sexualized. Apparently, a change had to occur for someone not be enticed by her feminine wiles. 

Oh, and she came out as a lesbian too, hitting steady with the brown M&M letting the world know about their relationship via M&M’s official Twitter account.

The responses were just as … interesting. 

While “opportunistic evil bitch” and somebody “you can’t get a drink with” did not come to mind while thinking about the changes to the green M&M, apparently the news thought otherwise. 

Oh, and Orange is mentally ill and proud of it,  Blue used to be romantically with Green, Red is secretly in love with Yellow who is his best friend and he is also secretly gay, and basically, just a lot of them are gay now. 

Some people on Twitter were ecstatic with these changes, congratulating the candy on coming out, while others were furious about the candy coming out.

M&M addressed the controversy by letting the public know they now have “an updated tone of voice that is more inclusive, welcoming, and unifying, while remaining rooted in our signature jester wit and humor.”

And just as the dust settled, we got a plus size, possibly non-binary, possibly transgender, possibly lesbian purple candy, which leads us to now.

The end? No. 

The attempts at progressive moral representation and the reactions to this attempt are both incredibly pathetic.

In case people forgot, there are more important problems in the world than “inclusive” chocolate. 

What you may be asking? Oh, I don’t know …

Maybe the child slavery accusations that Mars, the company that owns M&M’S, is facing! 

Since the early 2000s  Mars, Nestle and Hershey have been under intense scrutiny from both the government and the general public for their disgusting use of child labor. In fact, two-thirds of their cocoa is produced in West Africa, where 2 million children, ranging from 10 to 11 years old, have been reported to be farming the cocoa — an intense and rigorous process. 

While Mars vowed to end child labor by 2005, M&M’s still cannot guarantee that all of their cocoa is not produced using child labor. 

What is made as a joke on the internet and throughout American politics is, in reality, a tragedy. We as a society are not holding our corporations to their social responsibility and the M&M’S company is not fulfilling their obligation. 

Instead, we have a company pandering to one-dimensional identity politics and using outrage and controversy to market its product even more. 

As a matter of fact, many are beginning to speculate that with the Super Bowl around the corner, M&M’s might be using this entire situation to gain publicity for the event itself. 

Although corporations are no strangers to committing less than Christ-like behavior, more than ever now we see a trend in corporations changing mascots or slapping rainbows to satisfy the public and mask their dubious motives. 

And what’s worse is that people are either defending this behavior and foaming at the mouth for the apparent “progress” or throwing tantrums talking about how “sensitive” everyone is.  

America is so obsessed with fighting a political war over the most trivial controversies in an attempt to masquerade as moral warriors rather than seriously reflecting on how we can solve genuine issues regarding our corporations and who they affect. 

You are not “woke” for wanting a non-binary candy, and you are not “red-pilled” for getting upset over non-binary candy. 

You are a moron. 

While we can all continue ridiculing the M&M’s, we should use their stupidity to pay attention to what our corporations can do to fulfill their moral obligations rather than fight over who is more “based.” 

Although corporate capitalism is greatly flawed, concepts such as Corporate Social Responsibility give us consumers the power to voice our opinions and help others. 

When M&M’s released their statement regarding the controversy they were right about one thing: their jester humor. They are clowns masquerading as the “rich who enriches,” and we are clowns feeding into the circus of madness. 

Lilia Elizondo is an English senior and opinion writer for The Battalion. 
 

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  • Opinion writer Lilia Elizondo suggests if you are looking for gay icons and child slave masters all in one colorful package you just gotta purchase some M&Ms. 

     

    Susan Murtaugh/Flickr

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