Remember when the group One Million Moms decided to go up against JC Penny and Ellen DeGeneres and failed miserably? Well this time they’re going after Toys R Us and Archie Comics. Shall we start placing bets? [UPDATE: Archie's CEO responds.]
Archie Comics issue Life With Archie #16, features this plot summary: Kevin returns from battle a war hero and the whole gang have assembled to watch him tie the knot!
They’re speaking of course, of Kevin Keller, the openly gay Archie character who’s been in the news for a while now. And wow! Isn’t it a fascinating story? Sure sounds like it to me. Well, One Million Moms don’t agree and they don’t want it anywhere near children. So they don’t want a lesbian spokewoman, they don’t want a single comic about gay marriage in a store filled with items. What’s next? Asking companies to fire their homosexual employees so their kids won’t be exposed to them either? In the immortal words of Charlie Brown: Good grief!
Here’s what they’ve posted on their website:
Select Toys ‘R’ Us stores are now selling ‘Archie’ comic books with a same-sex wedding displayed on the front cover. The front cover reads “Just Married” with two men marrying and one is wearing a service uniform. This comic book is being sold in select stores across the country. One example is the Queensbury, NY location in the upstate New York area.
Toys ‘R’ Us employees do not actually set up the displays; they leave this up to the vendor, but they should be aware of the merchandise being sold in their stores nonetheless. These comic books are sold at the front checkout counters so they are highly visible to employees, managers, customers and children. Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in a toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary.
A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys ‘R’ Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.
Please send Toys ‘R’ Us an email letter requesting they remove all the same-sex “Just Married – Archie” comic books immediately from their shelves.
Side note before we continue: the One Million Moms Facebook page has around 44,000 members. Just sayin’
The organization also has a form letter written up for those who can’t take the time to write their own hateful thoughts to the toy company. It reads, “Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store. This is the last place a parent would expect to be confronted with questions from their children on topics that are too complicated for them to understand. Issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, which is becoming extremely common and unnecessary. A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for.”
Now, I can understand not wanting to have the discussion with your child if it makes you uncomfortable but I’m not sure exactly what age they believe discussions on sexual orientation are necessary, seeing as how children of all ages shop at the store with their parents. One wonders if there would be a problem with a comic with a marriage between a man and a woman on the cover? After all, a depiction of marraige is an obvious allusion to the sexual act, not an obvious allusion to a community’s suport for two people in love dedicating themselves publicly to their love. But I digress. At least Kevin lives in Riverdale where this sort of prejudice and hate don’t exist and where real-world discussions aren’t shied away from. Other good news to point out? Kevin is getting a new series soon! I encourage you to show positivity by supporting the comic if you disagree with One Million Moms rather than spending time being angry at them. Just a thought.
I’ll leave you with DeGeneres’ words in response to the group from a few weeks ago: “Here are the values I stand for: I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”
UPDATE: Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater has released the following statement on the matter:
We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone. It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday.
We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.
(via The Beat)