Chick-Fil-A is losing legendary puppet designer Jim Henson's Muppets, the Los Angeles Times reports. After working with the Atlanta-based fast-food chain for the past few months, the Jim Henson Co. has decided to pull the plug on their recent kids' meal designs after recent anti-gay statements by the restaurant's owner.
The toys were to feature a create-a-muppet aspect that would let children create their own characters.
In a statement via Facebook, CEO Lisa Henson said: The Jim Henson Co. 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, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
This news comes days after Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy proclaimed guilty as charged when asked about the company's supporting of families that adhere to the strict Biblical representation of family. The backlash has led to boycotts, Twitter outrage, as well as generally negative opinions expressed toward Chick-Fil-A via Facebook and social media. on the other side, Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and commetator, has stood behind the company, declaring Aug. 1 Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
The Muppets and other Jim Henson Co. figures have provided positive, non-exclusive entertainment for more than 30 years, the company says. It says its support of gay rights is in line with that tradition of inclusivity.