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A Harps grocery store in Arkansas censored an Us Weekly cover featuring new dads Elton John and David Furnish with their son, Zachary.
A Harps shopper named Jennifer posted a photo of the move to censor the cover at the Mountain Home, Ark., store on Twitter. It shows the issue of Us Weekly with a "family shield" to "protect young Harps shoppers" from seeing the image on the cover, typically reserved for sexual or violent images on magazines like Maxim or Playboy.
The manager at the store said there was no comment, and a call to Harps' headquarters in Springfield, Ark., has not been returned.
Harps, founded in 1930, has 64 stores in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
Update 1 p.m. Eastern: The shields have been taken down at the store, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which spoke to Harps corporate executive assistant Marty Yarborough. She told GLAAD that the shields were placed over the covers because some of the customers complained. Brittany, a worker at the store, confirmed that the shields were taken down this morning.
Update at 7:27 p.m. Eastern: The official update from Harps President and COO Kim B. Eskew:
We have received a number of comments regarding an incident in our Mountain Home store involving the current issue of Us Weekly Magazine depicting Elton John, David Furnish, and their newborn son. I would like to explain how this happened. For many years, we have provided each of our stores with shields which can be used at the manager's discretion to cover the front of magazines when they receive complaints from 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. The magazine article titles might also be too suggestive for some customers. In this case, our star manager received some complaints and, as has been our custom, placed the shield over the cover of the magazine. When we began receiving complaints at our corporate office, we reviewed the magazine in question, removed the shield, and are selling the magazine in our locations today without the shield. Our true intention is not to offend anyone in our stores and this incident happened at one of our 65 locations, which when we brought to our attention, we reversed.