A&W Restaurants took to Twitter to announce that their mascot, Rooty the Great Root Bear, will no longer go pantless. Cartoon characters have a rich history of going naked from the waist down. Beloved characters like Donald Duck, Porky Pig, and Winnie the Pooh all ditch their britches while inexplicably still wearing shirts.
A&W’s Rooty has carried out this hallmark of cartoon tradition by wearing an orange hat and sweater but baring all from the belly button down. However, many cartoon purists were shocked when the restaurant chain issued a bold statement Tuesday. Rooty is putting on jeans.
“America, let’s talk. Since 1963, Rooty the Great Root Bear has been our beloved spokesbear,” they wrote. “We knew people would notice because he’s literally a 6-foot-tall bear wearing an orange sweater. But now we get it — even a mascot’s lack of pants can be polarizing.” Shattering the hearts of mascot lovers everywhere, A&W let the ball drop. “Therefore, we have decided that Rooty will wear jeans going forward.
A message from A&W. pic.twitter.com/WGdF12TSyg— A&W Restaurants (@awrestaurants) January 24, 2023
Despite Rooty having to hide his shame with jeans, he would continue to be gainfully employed. “Not to worry though: he will remain our official spokesbear,” A&W continued. “After all, he is un-bear-ably cute and im-paw-ssible to replace. We are confident Rooty will continue to champion good food & good times for many years to come…now in denim.”
Considering the cultural climate, many were confused about the intent of A&W’s tweet
A&W fans seemed to cautiously understand that this was a satirical tweet at the expense of M&M’s recent mascot controversy. “Is this parody? Too hard to figure out these days,” one Twitter user replied. “I really hope this is ridiculous satire, but sadly it’s impossible to tell anymore,” another fan Tweeted.
However, A&W didn’t keep people on the hook that long. The next morning, they tweeted: “Is now a good time to mention this is a joke?” Thankfully, this ensures that Rooty will be able to streak for the foreseeable future.
This week, M&Ms completely surprised their fans by replacing their beloved “spokescandies” with the iconic Saturday Night Live veteran Maya Rudolph. The change comes following minor alterations to the Green M&M’s design, as well as its purple counterpart joining last year. the candy company also ruffled feathers with a full female-based package being unveiled this month. M&M’s will welcome Rudolph as their new “Chief of Fun” and present her in her debut during Super Bowl LVII.
The wording of M&M’s announcement makes it extremely clear that A&W was poking fun at the situation. “America, let’s talk. In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet. But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’s wanted, since we’re all about bringing people together,” the M&M’s wrote in a statement posted to social media.
“Therefore, we have decided to take an indefinite pause from the spokescandies. In their place, we are proud to introduce a new spokesperson America can agree on: the beloved Maya Rudolph. We are confident Ms. Rudolph will champion the power of fun to create a world where everyone feels they belong.”