Posted by: Jennifer | January 27, 2011

cover your eyes

A grocery store in Arkansas made the interesting, bigoted, and not-at-all-surprising decision to use a shield when displaying the most recent edition of US Weekly on their newsstands. The idea behind the shield is to hide magazine covers that customers may not want their impressionable and innocent young children to see (i.e. Playboy, Nazis Weekly, etc). The subject of this week’s cover — Elton John, his partner, and their new baby boy.

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.

[…]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.

The use of this shield had absolutely nothing to do with protecting children, and everything to do with protecting homophobes from being forced to look at a picture of a happily gay couple with their new son. I would really like to see some numbers on this one. Bring me evidence of one child that was irreparably damaged, scarred or otherwise harmed by walking past this magazine. If you can do that, then I will support the use of this shield. Otherwise, get over yourself.

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