Opinion: Muppets Right to Stand Against Chick-Fil-A Over Gay Marriage

Friday, July 27, 2012 - 04:42 PM


If there's any lesson from every Muppet adventure, it's that you shouldn't underestimate the ability of that goofy crew of lovable misfits to get things done, outsmart the bad guys and save the day. Evidently, the right-wing owners of Chick-fil-A haven't watched enough of Kermit and the gang.

The head of the chicken chain came out loudly and proudly against marriage equality, and the corporation donated to anti-equality political organizations. Meanwhile, the Muppets—advocates of inclusion, diversity, and love—were promoting the restaurants through a marketing partnership.

So, ask yourself: What would Kermit do? We know he'd get together a pig, a bear and a whatever-Gonzo-is to do what was right.  But he's just a character. Are his owners more driven by profit or purpose?

Good news: The Jim Henson Company proved that they live their values in the flesh, not just in the felt, and severed ties with the fast-food franchiser. The Muppets and their creators stayed true to their beliefs.

As social media guru Deanna Zandt has written, the Muppets are exceptional examples of good new media organizing. Chick-fil-A, meanwhile, has revealed itself to be an exemplar of lousy crisis control.

First they put up signs in their shops claiming that safety concerns caused them to can Muppet toys, a myth that was debunked and ridiculed across social media. Then they created false Facebook accounts to sing the praises of Chick-fil-A's decision, which were also quickly exposed.

That's right. The real company used puppet accounts to fight a band of puppets fighting for a real cause. 

Like the villain in a Muppet movie, the Chick-fil-A execs are flailing goofily, doing more damage to their reputation than to the Muppets the harder they fight. Of course, all of this could have been solved if they had just watched the movies and TV shows of the characters they were using to sell chicken.

Had they paid more attention to to the Muppets' message, not just their marketing might, they would have learned:

1. The best laid schemes of villains always come undone, dishonesty is discovered, and hypocrisy exposed.

2. Love takes all shape. A frog and a pig. A Gonzo and his Camilla. Take the side of joy, not the side of hate.

3. Don't mess with the Muppets. You'll end up looking like a fool.

A year after New York legalized same-sex marriage, nobody can point to a hetero marriage that was damaged. But the city and state can point to an economic boost. And the first Republican State Senator to support equality is still proud of his decision, despite threats this would hurt his political career.

That's the route our nation is going. Chick-fil-A is on the wrong side of history. Perhaps more damaging, they are on the wrong side of the Muppets.


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Comments [23]

hersh from Los Angeles

Somehow the muppets are such a part of the fabric of our lives that they fit into every cultural discussion! Kermit has always struck me as the wisest muppet, hence this song:

Jul. 18 2013 12:41 AM
Ben from CT

Funny - Chick Fil A is hateful for expressing an opinion. But the homosexual community is loving and kind. Which one is waging a social media war? Who is painting graffitti and destroying property? Boycotting and trying to destroy a business? I've heard many call Chick Fil A bigots and prejudicial but it seems the real bigotry and intolerance is those who are attacking anyone with a different viewpoint. The gay community needs to accept that not everyone will agree with them just like they don't agree with everything I believe. That's the great thing about America - they are free to do what they do and I am free to agree or disagree. Finally, no government official should ever tell a private business they are not welcome because of a difference in political opinion. This goes for abortion, immigration, tax differences, etc.

Aug. 06 2012 01:54 PM
tom smith from USA

Muppets gay? It doesn't surprize me but it is the last time my kids watch that show or I buy any "Henson Company Product". Ride On Chick-fil-A you are spot on.

Aug. 02 2012 07:22 AM
andrewi31 from DC

The Muppets have absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Couldn't a better journalist have explained that? It's just the basic truth. It's not the Muppets. NOT THE MUPPETS! Do you even know what they are? The furry puppets? Who owns them and whatnot? I bet you do and are just lying to create additional controversy. I imagine that's the case. For instance, you could of just said Sesame Street and it's the same ridiculous falsehood. You are a shameful liar, Mr. Krebs.

Aug. 01 2012 04:01 PM
Daryl from Texas

It is amazing the way this is getting twisted and warped to be an anti-gay issue. Support and donations were given for programs that encourage marriage and the traditional family unit. This is not the same as an anti-gay campaign. The attacks against Chick-Fil-A can be termed as and anti-christian campaign and smacks of intolerance and lack of respect for religious beliefs.

Chick-Fil-A has broken no laws, has not discriminated against gays, and has made no effort to promote a religious theme in their restaurants.

I fail to see why the issue on marriage even exists except to be an attack on religion. For some of us, marriage is as much a religious institution as a legal one. It is a contract between God + husband + wife. The government should not endorse (but should recognize authority of) religion so marriage should not be endorsed by the government. If the institution that marriage represents legally is required (which we all believe by law it should), then call it a civil union and apply to both gays and straight people alike.

Until this sort of separation is made, the state is stepping on religion by forcing people to change their beliefs on what marriage is. Controversy will continue to exist as well as persecution of those who hold strong religious beliefs by those who hold strong personal ones.

Jul. 31 2012 12:58 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

@Listener -

"BTW...didn't the management of Chick-fil-A have the same opinion on marriage as the management of the White House until very recently?"

Not even close...Barack Obama has been openly in favor of homosexual unions throughout his political career. His stumbling block has been over whether to label it 'marriage' - which is after all just a label. Some folks think that the marriage ceremony carries some particular weight. That may be true but the marriage the rest of us are talking about is the one that state courts have the power to dissolve.

Your attempt to Obama's acceptance as rejection is pathetic and just another example of your brainwashedness by r-wing trash.

[I keep promising myself not to respond to you until you start using a name for your posts but you keep laying out such whoppers.)

Jul. 29 2012 01:05 PM

Heres the thing, it doesn't matter what any religion's definition of marriage is, the only one that counts legally is the definition that includes all people regardless of their particular beliefs, unless you have a problem with the constitution. The knife cuts both ways, you can't discriminate against a business because the CEO has controversial or unpopular beliefs. One day, equality will actually be equal.

Jul. 28 2012 04:37 PM
Gosto Tothiwim from USA

"Chick-fil-A". The company's very name shouts "Bumpkin and proud of it!".

Jul. 28 2012 04:17 PM
Joshua Huddy from New Jersey

Never have i seen so much BS in one article. Did you take the time to read the statement made by Mr. Cathy . His belief is based on his religion. He believes in family values, a strong family is one of the pillars of the american society. What your are saying is that everyone that follows their faith is a biggot. Jews, Christians and Muslims all share in the definition of marriage. You can't change the word of god. You are simply politicizing this to take everyone off of the real issues: Jobs, the economy and taxes. I will pray that you see the light and find the path to freedom and truth.

Jul. 28 2012 01:09 PM
Andrew from New York

It's freaking hilarious when bigots come out wailing about others not tolerating their own intolerance.
Wake up. Why don't you just supplement the word 'Gay' with the words 'Black', 'Woman' or whatever historically persecuted faction of society that now enjoy the protections of our legal system and stand bake and just take a moment to reassess the absurdity of your whining.

Jul. 27 2012 10:36 PM

The real puppet show is happening in various city halls across the country. It is the clownish mayoral princelings who need a lesson in the First Amendment if they demand a religious/political test for a legally sound business that wants to operate in their city.

BTW...didn't the management of Chick-fil-A have the same opinion on marriage as the management of the White House until very recently?
How much money does Chick-Fil-A lose by being closed on Sunday and how much money did Obama gain when he "evolved" on marriage during an election year?

Aren't we supposed to admire a business that puts principle over profit? Do we admire a President who flip flops on an important issue for many people when it suits his campaign coffers?

The Chick-Fil-A CEO didn't take an oath on the Bible to defend the US Constitution which includes the First Amendment but these politicians did.

Jul. 27 2012 10:36 PM

you and your left wing peeps need to read and understand the Bible, God's Holy Word, that is the only real truth, and God said marriage is between a man and woman, and calls homosexuality a sin.

Jul. 27 2012 10:32 PM
David Millson from Vermont

The Muppets' opinion is as worthless as commentary from Roseann the Obnoxious, or any other self-important Hollywood leftist. How is it that Liberals tolerate everyone... except the people they HATE?

Jul. 27 2012 10:16 PM
chick in texas from Del Rio

Way to go Chick Fil A! For those of you trying to block Chick Fil A from building (Boston and Chicago) well too bad for yall! Yall are missing some great chicken!! PS. You accuse Dan Cathy of beigh hatred??? Yet you gay people are acting in such a mean, coldhearted, angry way but thats not hatred??? Hmmmm

Jul. 27 2012 10:05 PM
Elvis from Florida

Now that Jim Henson and the Muppets have withdrawn their affiliation with Chick-fil-a, I wonder if Kermit the Frog will come out of the closet and openly acknowleges his relationship with Oscar the Grouch. Oh, what a great learning tool for our children.
I know what I will do. My kids will no longer watch the Muppet Show and Oscar the Grouch will stay in the trash can forever.

Jul. 27 2012 10:01 PM
chick in texas from Del Rio

Way to go Chick Fil A!!! I will eat more chicken!!! For those of you trying to block Chick Fil A (Boston and Chicago)well too bad for yall! yall are missing some great chicken!!!

Jul. 27 2012 10:00 PM
kenny gwin

I whole heartedly support Chik fil A.A company not afraid to live by Gods living word,and I will point out the fact that there doors are closed on Sundays.It"s not about money,its about standing for Gods word.

Jul. 27 2012 09:56 PM
john from Texas

Oh people!! Someone says something you dont like and you pout!! Grow UP!! This is America people. We can speak our mind-yes even business owners can speak their mind. You might or might not agree but so what! Everyone is entitled to their opinion!!

Jul. 27 2012 09:56 PM
Ray from Chicago

It's a free country ? Not according to Justin Krebs.

Jul. 27 2012 09:51 PM

Does this mean that Chick Fil A will not serve gay married chickens in their eating establishments anymore????

Jul. 27 2012 09:25 PM

Yay Kermit!
Shame on you Mayor Bloomburg!

Jul. 27 2012 09:10 PM

This guys an idiot.

Jul. 27 2012 09:07 PM
jac dodge

I whole heartedly support Chik fil A!

Jul. 27 2012 08:51 PM

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