Lisa Henson and brother Brian (right) pose with former Disney Studios Chair Rich Ross during a recent Muppets event. …The company that created the Muppets has decided to end its business relationship with Chick-fil-A over the restaurant chain's public stance against gay marriage. In an announcement on Facebook, Jim Henson Company CEO Lisa Henson said her company will no longer supply toys or other merchandise to the fast-food chain.
"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the post reads. "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."
Since the announcement was posted to Facebook on Friday, it has received more than 6,000 "likes" from readers and been shared across the social network thousands of times.
Coincidentally, Jim Henson Studios is located less than two blocks from Chick-fil-A's Hollywood franchise. Does this mean that Henson employees are going to have to find a new lunch venue?
The decision came in response to an interview last week with Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy, during which he affirmed his company's opposition to gay marriage.
"Well, guilty as charged," Cathy told the Baptist about his company's position.
"We are very much supportive of the family--the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that," he said.
The Muppets franchise has been owned by Disney since 2004 and neither Disney nor the Muppet brand were part of the Chick-fil-A partnership.
Despite its growing financial success, Chick-Fil-A has been no stranger to controversy. Last November, the company took some criticism after it was revealed it was suing a Vermont farmer for selling T-shirts for the vegetable kale, which the company claims was infringing upon Chick-fil-A's copyrighted imagery. And in December, the company fired an employee for allegedly printing racist slurs on an Asian customer's receipt.