A Harps supermarket in Mountain View, Arkansas, censored this week’s Us Magazine cover depicting Elton John and husband David Furnish and their new baby, Zachary. The store said the cover was inappropriate for “young Harps shoppers” and placed a “family shield” in front of the magazine.
When Twitter user (and Harps shopper) @jennhudd saw the cover had been censored, she Tweeted a photo to celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris, begging them to “bring attention” to the store’s decision.
A cashier for the store said Harps was “in a no-win situation,” as children being protected from the magazine cover would “have to know at some point [about gay families].”
After the Tweet circulated the internet, @jennhudd reported that the ”family shields” had been taken down, probably due to the response from her original Tweet.
I spoke with Harps Corporate Executive Assistant Marty Yarborough, who told me that every Harps store is equipped with these shields and that they get put up whenever customers complain about the content of a magazine cover. She said the word from the store about this particular cover was that “several” customers had complained, so the shield went up. She also confirmed that these shields are utilized on a store-by-store basis, so the magazine would not have been covered up at any of the other Harps locations, unless customers complained there as well. She also told me that the usage of the shield on this particular cover is “in no way our opinion on this issue.” She quickly added, “we do not have an opinion on this issue.”
This is the 21st century, people! NEWSFLASH: there are gay people walking the earth, living, breathing, etc.. Get with the program. Live with it. Deal with it. And as for Harps, I hope you go up in flames! Harumph!