From the maker of “The Muppets” to the mayor of Boston, the list of folks severing ties with Chick-fil-A due to the fast-food company’s opposition to gay marriage is growing.
Jim Henson Co., which has produced characters for “The Muppets,” “Labyrinth” and “Fraggle Rock,” had recently been working with the Atlanta restaurant chain to create products for its kids’ meals.
The offerings included five build-your-own puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, using pieces that are punched out from the plastic meal container, according to a cached version of the Chick-fil-A website.
But after last week, when President Dan Cathy said the fast-food giant was “guilty as charged” of supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit,” Henson Co. nixed the partnership.
The company posted the following statement on its Facebook page: “The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD” (an advocacy group for lesbian, gay and transgender people).
Also not a fan of Chick-fil-A’s position: Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. In an interview with the Boston Herald, Menino vowed to block the chain from opening up shop in his city, promising to make it extremely difficult for the company to procure the required licenses.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Menino told the publication. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”
Nearly 4,000 people have signed a pledge to boycott Chick-fil-A.
“Not that I ate much Chick-fil-A before but I sho nuff don’t have an appetite for it now,” tweeted singer Audra McDonald. Actor Ed Helms tweeted a similar comment.
But Chick-fil-A has its share of supporters, including Mike Huckabee. On his Facebook page this weekend, the former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate wrote that he has “been incensed at the vitriolic assaults on the Chick-fil-A company.”
He called the Cathy clan “a wonderful Christian family who are committed to operating the company with Biblical principles and whose story is the true American success story” – one “that is being smeared by vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left.”
Huckabee declared Aug. 1 “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”
“Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant,” Huckabee wrote.
On Thursday, Chick-fil-A said in a statement that it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena” and refrain from “proactively being engaged in the dialogue” on the subject.