Did fast food chain Chick-fil-A pretend to be a teenage girl on Facebook in order to save face amidst a swirl of controversy surrounding Dan Cathy's anti-gay comments? Though the company vehemently denies anything of the sort, that's exactly what some are alleging.
Chick-fil-A recently came under fire after Dan Cathy, the company's president, confirmed the company's anti-gay stance.
In response, the Jim Henson Company announced on its official Facebook page that it had severed ties with Chick-Fil-A.
Now, Chick-fil-A is reportedly telling customers that the toys previously included in its kids' meals have been removed due to safety reasons.
Skeptics took to Facebook to question Chick-fil-A's most recent claims.
First, one user named Chris posted a comment on the Chick-fil-A Facebook page saying: "Admit it, Chick-fil-A: you stopped carrying Jim Henson's puppets as kids meal toys because you got dumped for being bigots, not because some kids 'got their fingers stuck.'"
Then another Facebook user named "Abby Farle" responded to that post: "it was taken back weeks before any of this... check your info Chris... John 3:16."
But it wasn't long before another reader quickly noted that Farle's Facebook profile was created just eight hours prior and accused Farle of being a Chick-fil-A representative in disguise. That same user also found Farle's profile photo amidst a collection of stock photos on Shutterstock.com.
"Yep, Chick-fil-A is still stuck in its own reality and is doubling down on its lie," wrote Gizmodo's Casey Chan, one of the first to report on the incident. "Instead of owning up to the fact that The Jim Henson Company stopped doing business with them because they're overrun with bigots, the chicken sandwich company appears to have made fake Facebook accounts to defend its honor on the social network."
A screen shot of the alleged Facebook conversation quickly went viral on Reddit.
But not all users were so quick to take the Facebook post at face value; some questioned if the entire thing was a hoax.
"Take a step back and look at the situation. Lots of leaps are being taken here without any evidence," wrote one Reddit user. "I am just saying it is a big leap to think the company are behind this and not some religious nutjob."
A spokeswoman for the fast food chain spoke with Buzzfeed and denied claims that someone from the company was trolling Facebook to defend Chick-fil-A.
"We have seen this and it is not true," spokeswoman Tiffany Greenway told BuzzFeed. "Chick-fil-A has not created a separate or a false Facebook account. We don't know who created it."
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