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Berenstain Bears Distances Itself from Chick-fil-A After Chain Uses Book as Replacement for Muppet Toys


Following the Jim Henson Company's abrupt decision to end its relationship with Chick-fil-A over the company's anti-gay donations, the restaurant chain began offering a series of books from the Berenstain Bears series instead, which has apparently horrified The Berenstain Family.

They wrote a note on their website and Facebook page distancing themselves from the Kids Meal deal:

Our publisher, HarperCollins, is marketing several 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 whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-Fil-A.

Ironically, the book reportedly being pushed in the Kids Meals is one that teaches the "Golden Rule".

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  1. Yeah, the last thing HarperCollins is likely gonna wanta do is piss off GLBT readers and authors who (unlike the anti-intellectual set) actually buy, read, and write books. So that relationship should be easy to cut as well as soon as HarperCollins can contractually do it. They need, though, to issue a statement to that effect ASAP.

    You can email HarperCollins at: or phone HarperCollins at: 212-207-7000 and ask them if they plan to continue doing business with a virulently anti-gay corporation.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Jul 30, 2012 12:47:17 PM

  2. Let's not read into their words: the posted comment by the Berestain's does not say they support marriage equality or LGBT rights, or condemn Chick-Fil-A's stance.

    It merely says that they didn't know about the controversy, can't do anything about it now, so please don't bother them with complaints. The message does not embrace or reject LGBT rights -- it merely asks us to leave them out of the debate.

    Posted by: Mike8787 | Jul 30, 2012 12:53:50 PM

  3. When you have the Muppets and the Berenstain Bears against you, Chick-fil-A, it should really tell you something.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 30, 2012 12:58:54 PM

  4. "...which has apparently horrified The Berenstain Family."

    I don't discern "horror" in the Berenstain Family statement. I discern inconvenience.

    Posted by: Keppler | Jul 30, 2012 1:06:00 PM

  5. If HarperCollins pulls the books, watch for the retroactive recall by Chick-fil-a about the paper-cut danger they posed to small children.

    Posted by: Johnson | Jul 30, 2012 1:07:29 PM

  6. The only reason these companies are cancelling their association with the hateful Chick-Fil-A is because WE are keeping up the pressure !

    Well done to everyone who has been involved in this campaign. Let's keep pushing and we can get rid of the CEO. Their profits are starting to be hit so that will be the end of the almight, messiah of a CEO. He needs a shock to get him back into the real world. He's an arrogant prick.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 30, 2012 1:31:14 PM

  7. Everybody knows most bears are gay or gay-friendly.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Jul 30, 2012 2:13:26 PM

  8. doubt HarperCollins will really care since it appears that they publish several right wing nutcase authors like Michael Savage

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Jul 30, 2012 2:25:56 PM

  9. That statement scrupulously avoids taking a position. It just says to take your complaints elsewhere. More than anything it seems like an attempt to protect the Berenstain "brand."

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 30, 2012 2:50:11 PM

  10. You may also write to Berenstain Bears directly letting them know that you know they have more power than what they want the general public to believe.

    Posted by: SD_Dave | Jul 30, 2012 3:02:11 PM

  11. I appreciate their statement. I don't care what the Berenstein family thinks about gay marriage. You really shouldn't either.

    Posted by: John | Jul 30, 2012 3:56:10 PM

  12. I appreciate their statement. I don't care what the Berenstein family thinks about gay marriage. You really shouldn't either.

    Posted by: John | Jul 30, 2012 3:56:12 PM

  13. At all those who say their comments are too vague and not supportive enough, they cannot just come right out against their publisher....probably gets them into a lot of legal hot water. And it's just a bad idea to directly bite the hand that feeds you. What they have done and is ballsy enough considering the precarious financial and legal situation they are in...

    Posted by: Brett | Jul 30, 2012 4:12:32 PM

  14. Don't worry. Chik-Fil-A will announce shortly that THEY decided not to proceed because the bears are dangerous to children.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 30, 2012 4:31:56 PM

  15. Thank God the bears do not support those evil and hateful antigay Christian terrorist.

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 30, 2012 4:50:31 PM

  16. I agree, maybe this is only part of the Berenstein family's statement but from this bit here, they are taking no specific stance, they're just trying to avoid the issue without getting involved. Like "not our problem, we didn't do it, go bother the other guy"… Purely a PR decision.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Jul 30, 2012 5:15:49 PM

  17. Mike: You're the evil hateful one. Get a life.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 30, 2012 5:15:59 PM

  18. Mike: You're the evil hateful one. Get a life.

    Posted by: Josh | Jul 30, 2012 5:16:00 PM

  19. The original Berenstain authors, Stan and Jan, have left the franchise in the hands of their son, who's inserting obvious Christian messages and themes into new editions of classic Berenstain Bears stories and penning new stories that focus on religious morality. I saw one that suggested as an after-story activity to "draw a picture of your Sunday school".

    Just sayin'... don't assume they're gay-friendly just because they're bears.

    Posted by: Christopher | Jul 30, 2012 5:33:24 PM

  20. I look forward to CFA's press release announcing that they recalled the books from their Kid's Meals because they gave them paper cuts.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Jul 30, 2012 7:23:18 PM

  21. The Berenstain family doesn't sound all that bothered at all. And BS re not knowing about Chick-Fil-A's politics. Or else, please buy an overdue clue. Yes, there has been a lot of publicity lately since "July 25," but Chick-Fil-A's religion-based homophobia is NOT news. Chick-Fil-A's been boycotted by the gay community (including moi) for years. They've always been closed on Sundays (the only major fast food chain to do so) -- shouldn't that tip you off? The Cathys have probably said much more worse things than the bits that have been viralized recently. I personally remember hearing about Chick-Fil-A as bad guys years and years ago.

    Also, Berenstain family, do you really want to be associated with food that is bad for kids and grown-ups alike? Yes, "The Berenstain Bears: Shilling for Childhood Obesity and Shortened Life Spans!"

    Posted by: cuddly metabolic syndrome bears | Jul 30, 2012 9:31:55 PM

  22. Easy to send an e-mail to Harper Collins... just go to their website and look for "contact us" down at the bottom.

    Posted by: John | Jul 31, 2012 7:46:58 AM

  23. Given that CFA's PR person dropped dead recently I'd wager that they don't have a clear public voice at the moment. The last guy's parting words were something to the effect that the chain would stay out of politics in the future.

    Of course the big question is whether that means that CFA and/or the Cathys will continue to make quiet donations to hate organizations. If that ceases then at least some of our message to them has gotten through.

    Posted by: cbhermey | Jul 31, 2012 10:29:07 AM

  24. Bears distancing themselves from chicken? That's unusual! ;-)

    Posted by: RReilly | Jul 31, 2012 1:07:35 PM

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