Grocer Harps has reversed a decision to
conceal the cover of this week's Us Weekly magazine, which
features singer Elton John and his partner David Furnish holding
their newborn baby Zachary.
Harps had placed a “family shield”
over the magazine to block from view the cover photo of Sir Elton and
his family. “Family Shield. To protect young Harps shoppers,”
the shield says.
In a statement released on Wednesday,
Harps Food Stores President & COO Kim B. Eskew explained that
only 1 store out of 65 had concealed the cover.
Eskew said that the shields can be used
“at the manager's discretion to cover the front of magazines when
they receive complaints from our customers regarding either the photo
on the cover of the magazine or the titles of articles contained
within the magazine.”
“Sometimes those photos might be
sexually provocative or too revealing,” she said.
Eskew added that the manager at their
Mountain Hope store acted after receiving “some complaints.”
A photo of the censored magazine was
first tweeted by user JennHudd
– later identified as Jennifer Huddleston – on Wednesday morning.
“This was taken at my local grocery
store,” she tweeted. “I was shocked and horrified.”
In a later tweet, she adds, “It's
over all the covers of that magazine (at every register). The other
magazines aren't covered.”
“I love Arkansas. I hate to see this
sort of thing happen here or anywhere,” she said in another tweet,
in which she encouraged followers to complain to the grocery chain.
Harps is located in Arkansas, Oklahoma