Elton John Magazine Censored By 'Family Shield' in Supermarket
A Harps supermarket in Mountain View, Ark., censored an Us Weekly cover featuring Elton John, husband David Furnish and their new baby, Zachary. Deemed inappropriate for "young Harps shoppers," the store placed a "family shield" in front of the magazine.
Twitter user @jennhudd saw the censored cover and began tweeting a photo to celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper and Neil Patrick Harris, asking them to "bring attention" to the store's decision.
The Mountain View Harps responded to a call from PopEater on Wednesday afternoon with a curt "no comment" before hanging up. A call to the corporate office had us placed on hold, redirected and sent to a voice mail when asked for official comment.
CoverAwards.com had better luck speaking to Harps -- a cashier told the site Harps was "in a no-win situation" as children being shielded from the magazine cover would "have to know at some point [about gay families]."
PopEater's Naughty But Nice Rob Shuter reported that the Elton John cover sold poorly and wondered if America wasn't ready for "two men and a baby." Now he calls the censorship "very sad," asking, "We can let our families watch 'Jersey Shore' but not see a picture of Elton, his partner and their beautful baby boy?"
After originating the picture of the censored cover, @jennhudd reported the "family shields" had been removed, likely as a result of the Internet's interest in the issue. Jennifer sent a series of tweets suggesting offended parties call the Harps office and file complaints.
GLAADblog also spoke to Harps. The account:
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."BuzzFeed reports Harps has more than 60 locations in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Elton John and David Furnish's son was born via a surrogate on Christmas Day. Zachary is the first child for John, 62, and Furnish, 48. The couple married in 2005 after being together for 12 years.
Based on Elton's recent sentiment for gay marriage opponents (hint: it involved an "F" and a "you"), we can assume he won't take kindly to being family-shielded in his moment of joy.
►Elton John Doesn't Care if His Son Is Gay or Straight
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