The Chick-Fil-A fast food chain has given Muppets toys as part of its children’s meals. That relationship has ended, according to The Jim Henson Company, because of restaurant’s open stance against marriage equality.
From the Toronto Sun:
Lisa Henson, CEO of the company responsible for The Muppets and Sesame Street, said she will instead donate the payment from Chick-Fil-A to the gay-rights group GLAAD.
“The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavours,” the company wrote on its Facebook page.
While opinions on Facebook have been mixed, the majority seem to be in support of the Muppets, but there are comments like this:
Chick-Fil-A has long been known as a conservative religious chain, who refuses to even open on Sunday. President and COO, Dan Cathy, has recently come under fire for saying,”We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives.”
The company has a history of donating money to anti-gay rights organizations such as the Family Research Council.
After the backlash, they did try to tone down the rhetoric with the following statement, ”The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. … Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
But gay rights groups weren’t happy. Stuart Gaffney, media director with Marriage Equality USA, said, ”Their donations speak louder than words.” It’s all fine and well to make a statement that they’re leaving this to policy makers, but donations to groups that work actively against LGBT … do harm to our community and actually are a critical part of the policy debate.”