— CREDO Action, SumofUs.org and Faithful America delivered petitions signed by over 80,000 people to HarperCollins today, demanding that the publishing company cut Berenstain Bears’ ties with Chick-fil-A. The Jim Henson Company recently announced they would no longer be providing toys for Chick-fil-A Kids’ meals, and activists are now encouraging HarperCollins and the creators of the Berenstain Bears to follow suit.
To view and/or download pictures of yesterday’s event, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumofus/7733733424/in/photostream/
The creators of the Berenstain Bears have publicly distanced themselves from their partnership with Chick-fil-A, urging people to direct their concerns to HarperCollins, the publishing company that ultimately has the power to sever ties with Chick-fil-A. Along with the petitions, the groups delivered a copy of the book, “The Berenstain Bears and the New Neighbors,” which emphasizes standing up to bigotry. The petition reads, “Berenstain Bears: Cut ties with Chick-fil-A as long as it continues to support anti-gay organizations.”
“The Berenstain Bears fight bigotry. It's just plain wrong for HarperCollins to use these beloved characters to help fund hate,” said Becky Bond, Political Director of CREDO Action. “Chick-fil-A funnels millions of dollars to anti-gay hate groups. If HarperCollins wants to stand by Chick-fil-A fine – but they should leave the Berenstain Bears out of it.”
“HarperCollins needs to learn a lesson from its own Berenstain Bears, which teach children about the values of acceptance, and the dangers of bigotry,” said Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, SumOfUs.org's Founder and Director. “By partnering with Chick-fil-A, a company that actively bankrolls hatred and discrimination against the LGBT community, HarperCollins is undermining the lessons of the beloved Bear family. The Berenstains should follow the Muppets' lead, and cut ties with Chick-fil-A. HarperCollins has a chance here to make a stand for equality and strike a blow against bigotry. The 80,000 Americans who signed this petition hope that they do!” "If HarperCollins and their Zondervan subsidiary want to continue marketing the Berenstain Bears franchise to Christian families, then the Bears need to set a better example of how to love their neighbors,” said Michael Sherrard, Director of Faithful America. “Chick-fil-A's hateful agenda is offensive to our members and to sincere, churchgoing Christians across America."
Chick-fil-A ignited a national uproar last month after their CEO, Dan Cathy, repeatedly made anti-gay statements. Chick-fil-A gives millions to anti-gay organizations, including to a group that promotes “gay conversion therapy” and hate groups such as the Family Research Council.