Readers blasted Highlights for Children for deeming one woman’s family a “situation.”
Kids’ magazine Highlights for Children is feeling the heat after offering a cagey response to a reader who complained about what she interpreted as a lack of LGBT representation in a subsidiary publication for toddlers.
Reader Kristina Wertz, who has a same-sex partner, said her 1-year-old daughter loves Hello magazine, which is published by Highlights and aimed at the under-2 set. Still, Wertz admitted to being “consistently disappointed” by the magazine’s “complete lack of same-sex parents.”
“There is a deep need for books that positively reflect back the diversity of the world around us,” she wrote in an Oct. 14 Facebook post, “and I hope that Highlights embraces that diversity because we would love to keep it in our little one’s life as she grows.”
A Highlights for Children staff member responded to Wertz’s comment on Facebook, suggesting that although diversity was important to the magazine, parents “know best” when to broach the subject of same-sex parenting with their children. A screenshot of the magazine’s complete response is found HERE.
Not surprisingly, Highlights’ somewhat vague response came under fire on both Twitter and Facebook. One person called the reply “irresponsible, inappropriate and completely ignorant,” while another said she would “not be adding a subscription to our household based on this ‘situation.’”
Yet another reader noted, “Your hesitance to show two-mom and two-dad families is so sad. It’s not about sex.”
A representative for Highlights responded to an email inquiry by The Huffington Post with a link to a statement from the magazine, which said that the initial Facebook reply to Wertz wasn’t “reflective of our values, intentions or our position, and we apologize.” The publication also shared that link on Twitter.
“Our mission never changes: To help kids become their best selves—curious, creative, confident, and caring.
"But we are constantly evolving,” they wrote in the statement, which can be read here.
“We want to reiterate that we believe all families matter,” they added. “This conversation has helped us see that we can be more reflective of all kinds of families in our publications. We are committed to doing so as we plan future issues.”
We certainly hope so, Highlights!