Chick-Fil-A has had its share of bizarre news in the last several months. The chain made headlines for bringing a lawsuit against a t-shirt maker who uses his shirts to promote eating more kale, and then anti gay marriage comments made by the fast-food chain’s founder in recent interviews received a swell of criticism. This latest issue has now led to accusations that the company has created at least one fake Facebook account to help defend its actions after a fall-out with some Muppets over the definition of marriage.
According to Mashable, Chick-Fil-A, which was in a marketing partnership with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, recalled Henson toys being distributed at its 1,600 U.S. locations. Claiming there was a safety issue, Chick-Fil-A recall notices retracted the toys effective July 19th, the same day the chain addressed the backlash over the anti-gay comments by stating the company’s service culture and tradition is to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”
The date on the notices is also one day before Henson’s organization—the company best known for its unconventionally married Muppets, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy—publicly distanced itself from Chick-Fil-A’s anti-gay position and showed its support instead for GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
The Jim Henson Company announced on its Facebook page: “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. 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.”
Already dealing with a barrage of comments on the Chick-Fil-A Facebook page about the anti-gay rhetoric, the company is rumored to have then opened a fake Facebook account under the name “Abby Farle.” Ms. Farle defended the recall of the Henson toys, saying that the toys had been pulled weeks ago, and that the recall was unrelated to the Henson Company’s support of gay marriage. Suspiciously, however, Farle’s page appeared to have only been activated in the eight hours preceding her defense of the toy recall, and her profile image is a stock photo.
The chain denies any affiliation with the fake account, and a representative told Buzzfeed, “Chick-Fil-A has not created a separate or a false Facebook account. We don’t know who created it.”
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger