ATLANTA -- Left-wing activist groups want HarperCollins, publisher of Berenstain Bears books, to cut ties between the popular children's characters and Atlanta-based fast food chain Chick-fil-A.
CREDO Action, SumofUs and Faithful America on Aug. 7 will deliver petitions signed by more than 80,000 people to HarperCollins, demanding the company end its business relationship with Chick-fil-A. The organizations said the Berenstain Bears creators have publicly distanced themselves from the partnership with Chick-fil-A, urging people to direct their concerns to HarperCollins.
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The groups said they want to see the Berenstain Bears do what the Muppets did a few weeks back.
The Berenstain Family has posted a note on their website addressing the matter and inviting comments to their publisher and Chick-fil-A:
Our publisher, HarperCollins, is marketing sevreal of their Berenstain Bears titles through a kids' meal promotion at Chick-Fil-A scheduled for August. This program was in development for over a year. We were unaware of any controversy involving Chick-Fil-A until July 25th.
The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whetehr this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-Fil-A.
The Berenstain Family"
Last week, the Jim Henson Co. announced it would no longer provide toys for Chick-fil-A kids' meals, and activists are now encouraging HarperCollins and the Berenstain Bears to follow suit.
As reported July 24, Henson Co. posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it will not partner with Chick-fil-A due to comments made by the restaurant chain's President and COO Dan Cathy that the company is 'guilty as charged" of supporting "the biblical definition of the family unit."
However, Chick-fil-A noted it had already withdrew voluntarily the Jim Henson Kid's Meal puppets for potential safety concerns for its customers on July 19.
In related news, Boston area restaurant dbar entered the fray in the Chick-fil-A gay marriage controversy with a new menu item. Starting last Friday night, the gay-friendly restaurant began offering a "Chic-2B-gAy" boneless fried chicken entree which will be served with a homemade biscuit, mashed potatoes and gravy, according to a news release.