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.