Chick-fil-A Replaces Henson Toys With Berenstain Bears Book, Controversy Continues

A book from the iconic series has been rushed into the chain's kids meals -- which prompted a curt response from the series' copyright holder.

Chick-fil-A has replaced its kids' meal prize, but has yet to sweep away the controversy.

The chain last week pulled the Jim Henson Company-produced finger puppets that were being placed in childrens' meals, officially citing safety concerns; the move, however, was largely viewed as retribution for the puppet and production studio's very public rebuke of the fast food chain's president, Dan Cathy, confirmation that his restaurant donated to religious organizations that fight against gay marriage.

Now, Chick-fil-A is rewarding young diners with a series of books from the Berenstain Bears series, a move that does not seem to please the group that owns the copyrights to the series.

Posted on the Berenstain Bears Co.'s official site is this message:   

Our publisher, HarperCollins, is marketing several of their Berenstain Bears titles through a kids' meal promotion at Chick-Fil-A scheduled for August. This program was in development for over a year. We were unaware of any controversy involving Chick-Fil-A until July 25th.

The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-Fil-A.

Sincerely, The Berenstain Family.   

Jan Berenstain, who with her husband Stanley created the series in 1962, passed away in February; Stanely died in 2005.