On Friday, One Million Moms declared that they had successfully pressured Care.com into not advertising during the Disney Channel episode of Good Luck Charlie which introduced a family with lesbian moms. Care.com is a Massachusetts-based company that “helps families find child care, senior care, special needs care, tutoring, pet care, and housekeeping.” Last week the CEO from Care.com rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of its launch as a publicly traded company after raising $91M in its initial IPO.
Since we know that One Million Moms regularly lies about pressuring companies to pull advertising, I wrote to Care.com to inquire. Below is my email exchange with Nancy Bushkin, Care.com’s vice president of public relations and corporate communication. The first two responses from Bushkin came on Friday night and the final response came last night.
JMG: “Hello, Today the Christian advocacy group One Million Moms issued a press release which declares that they successfully pressured your company into pulling advertising from the Disney Channel show ‘Good Luck Charlie’ because of the introduction of a lesbian couple and their child. Can you confirm if Care.com did pull advertising or if you had spots scheduled to run? Thanks very much.”
BUSHKIN: “Hi Joe. Thank you for your email and my apologies for not replying sooner. To answer your question, we did not have spots scheduled to run. Thank you for checking with us. Many thanks, Nancy.”
JMG: “Hi Nancy, Thank you very much for your response. To clarify: Did you company decline to schedule any spots in response to pressure from One Million Moms?”
BUSHKIN: “Hi Joe. Care.com respects both sides of this issue but our advertising decisions are our own and are based solely on the networks that perform well for us and help us reach our audience. Have a good weekend, Nancy.”
JMG: “Nancy, Any less than an affirmation of the value of LGBT parenting and families from your company is unacceptable. You cannot be unaware that One Million Moms is a division of the American Family Association, which has supported boycotts against dozens of companies (including, not incidentally, the Walt Disney Company) for supporting the rights of the LGBT community. Leaders of the AFA even advocate for the criminalization of homosexuality in the United States.
“Saying that Care.com ‘respects’ the opinions of a virulently anti-LGBT organization like One Million Moms/AFA is an unsatifactory response and is definitely out of step with the hundreds of major US corporations that expressly support the LGBT community – both in their actions and in their philosophies.
“I realize that One Million Moms has put your company in an unanticipated and unwanted situation that may seem unwinnable, but unless Care.com decides to explicitly reject the bigotry of One Million Moms, its reputation with millions of LGBT Americans and our allies will surely be damaged. Surely this is not how Care.com wants to begin its new life as a publicly traded company.
“In closing, I direct you to the 2014 Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign, where you will find a listing of over 300 major US corporations that have been rated 100% in several categories including ‘public commitment to the LGBT community.’ Please consider examining that list and making an evaluation about whether Care.com belongs among the many Fortune 500 companies that expressly reject anti-LGBT bigotry.
BUSHKIN: “Hi Joe. Thank you for your follow up note. Care.com supports and values all families, in both our membership and our employee base. Our mission is to help families manage their busy lives by finding great care for their loved ones and we are proud that our membership base — both in our providers and our families — reflects great diversity. We are also proud that our employee base reflects that same diversity as the communities we support. We will continue to treat our members, our employees, our partners and stakeholders with honor and respect, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religious belief. Our advertising decisions are our own and beyond this statement, we will no longer comment on the matter. Thank you, Nancy.”
So there you have it. Care.com “values all families” and apparently has LGBT employees which they say they treat respectfully. That’s great. But they won’t explicitly reject the bigotry of a hate group that openly advocates for criminalizing the sexuality of millions of Americans. If you are seeking home health care for elderly parents or want to find a reliable pet sitter – make your decisions accordingly.