As you have probably already heard, the Jim Henson Company announced last Friday that it was severing ties with restaurant chain Chick fil-A because its leadership has recently affirmed its stance against same-sex marriage. Now there is murmuring on the Internet that Chick fil-A pulled its existing inventory of Henson toys from stores, claiming an unrelated safety recall.
A photo taken at a Chick fil-A in a Texas mall has become huge on Reddit in recent hours. For those who can’t make out the above image, it reads, in part:
We apologize for any inconvenience but as of 7/19/2012 Chick-fil-A has voluntarily recalled all of the Jim Henson Creature Shop Puppet Kids Meal toys due to a possible safety issue. Please be advised that there have not been any cases in which a child has actually been injured, however there have been some reports of children getting their fingers stuck inthe holes of the puppets.
Unsure of whether or not this was legitimate, I contacted Chick fil-A HQ, which confirmed that it did issue a voluntary recall of the toys and that “the two issues are unrelated… the voluntary withdrawal happened before the Jim Henson announcement.”
However, things get a bit murkier when I attempted to confirm with the Jim Henson Company, where a rep first said there was no further comment beyond the initial Facebook post, and then later simply told me to “check with Chick fil-A,” which I already had.
I checked with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is usually the one issuing the statements regarding recalled toys. A rep at the CPSC told me that the agency has no record of any recall related to these toys. I’ve asked Chick fil-A for comment on why it chose not to involve the CPSC in the recall and will add any statement the company provides on the topic.
UPDATE: In spite of the language on the above sign, a rep for Chick fil-A says “This is not a recall – it is a voluntary withdrawal.”