M&M’s made headlines earlier this week when the company announced that it would be “indefinitely” retiring its beloved “spokescandies” mascots in the wake of an uproar over a “women’s empowerment” campaign and the changing of the mascots’ outfits to make them more diverse.
Now, other companies are following suit. On the heels of M&M’s reveal, A&W Restaurants made a cheeky announcement that its beloved mascot, Rooty the Great Root Bear, would no longer be pants-less — he’ll now wear jeans.
In an almost word-for-word identical announcement, A&W joked that “even a mascot’s lack of pants can be polarizing” and noted that though the bear would now be sporting jeans, he would still remain the company’s spokesperson, as the company is confident that he will “continue to champion good food & good times for many years to come.”
A message from A&W. pic.twitter.com/WGdF12TSyg
— A&W Restaurants (@awrestaurants) January 24, 2023
Later Wednesday afternoon, A&W admitted that the announcement was, in fact, a shtick and that the mascot would not be changing.
A&W fans and Twitter users joked with the brand upon reading the original Tweet.
I am enraged. A&W has gone woke and I will be boycotting the nones and nones of their restaurants in my area.
I WANT MY BEARS PANTSLESS JUST AS GOD CREATED THEM.
The sweater can stay, tho. God loves sweaters.
— insubordinate and churlish, disillusioned (@DisillusiondRev) January 25, 2023
A&W Restaurants said it would outfit mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear in a pair of jeans moving forward due to the “polarizing” nature of his lack of pants.
I think we can all feel safer now… pic.twitter.com/VgrpvHGWLj
— Back2Source (@NoLight4Me) January 25, 2023
Jeans?!!! At least do leggings
— carly (@fYLRAC) January 25, 2023
Upon M&M’s announcement on Monday, the company told fans that the candy mascots would be replaced with comedian Maya Rudolph in what many were speculating was a setup for a Super Bowl commercial. The company did not comment on the rumors.
A&W Restaurants is a fast-food chain based in Kentucky, popularly known for its draft root beer and root beer floats.
There are currently about 600 locations operating in the U.S.