The company behind The Muppets and Fraggle Rock characters, has announced it will no longer work with the Chick-fil-A fast food company because of its support of anti-gay causes.
In a statement on its Facebook page on Saturday, the Jim Henson Company said: “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 company added that CEO Lisa Henson “is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage” and had decided to donate the payment the company received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
The Chick-fil-A fast food chain is based in Atlanta with 1,615 branches across the US and is run by the conservative Cathy family, with the stated aim “to glorify God”.
Its current President Dan T. Cathy has publicly denounced same-sex marriage and the company has donated funds to a number of anti-gay groups.
The Jim Henson Company had been working with Chick-fil-A on kids meals toys that featured its famous characters.
It ended the business relationship after Cathy said his fast food company was “guilty as charged” of supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit”.
Chick-fil-A seems to have backtracked on Cathy’s view somewhat, later issuing a statement insisting that its position is “to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender”.
It added that “going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena”.