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Robert Downey Jr. to Voice Modernized, Sexually Ambiguous Mr. Peanut

When an ad guru told the New York Times this weekend, "He is who he is, and people respect his genuineness," were kinder words ever spoken about a cartoon peanut? She was referring, as you may have intuited, to the Planters mascot Mr. Peanut, who is getting a $35 million makeover that includes a celebrity voice lent by Robert Downey Jr. Still, even talking legumes are subject to speculation about their sexuality, and Mr. Peanut is no different; after all, this is a character who chooses to wear a monocle and loves to throw dinner parties, traits that inspired the campaign's ad men to clarify the relationship between Mr. Peanut and his new male sidekick like so: " 'Benson is quite enamored of Mr. Peanut,' Mr. Levine said, but they are, as the saying goes, just friends. Benson does not live in Mr. Peanut’s house, Mr. Wixom said." [NYT]