One Million Moms Threatens Anti-Gay Boycott of Toys ‘R Us Over Archie’s Kevin Keller
A few weeks ago, One Million Moms — a division of the American Family Association, which was named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — was in the news protesting the fact that JC Penney had signed talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson, as she is gay and thus “not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store.” They were unable to bend the department store chain to their will, but this week, they’re at it again with a new target: Archie Comics.
They’re particularly offended by the fact that Life With Archie #16, a comic that depicts the marriage of gay character Kevin Keller, is being sold in Toys ‘R’ Us. The problem, according to One Million Moms, is that children shouldn’t be allowed to see this comic because it has issues “that are too complicated for them to understand.”Here’s the full statement, available at the One Million Moms 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.
According to the website, One Million Moms was formed for parents who were “fed up with the filth many segments of our society, especially the entertainment media, are throwing at our children,” so it make sense that they’d be upset about Kevin Keller, who made headlines when he was introduced for being Archie’s first gay character. After all, with the widespread distribution of Archie comics, kids can pick up utter filth like this scene from Kevin Keller #1:
And the comic they’re taking issue with even goes so far as to show Kevin in the future, when he has followed his father’s footsteps, serving in the military and being wounded in action while saving one of his fellow soldiers under enemy fire, before finally returning home to get married to the person he loves.
You know, if you honestly believe that a child can’t understand that, then I’m pretty sure that it’s not Archie’s fault. That one’s on you. And even if it is true, then I have to tell you, the existence of Kevin Keller isn’t even close to being at the top of the list of things you need to explain about the world of Archie Comics. I don’t know if you’ve read those things, but there’s a character in there who eats like 30 hamburgers in one sitting, and that’s legitimately dangerous.
Either way, Archie CEO Jon Goldwater issued a statement of his own in response to the campaign:
“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 Huffington Post)