A Los Angeles donut company is receiving criticism and praise after dumping a Christian reality television star who had partnered with them to promote their product.
Fonuts partnered with Jinger Dugger Vuolo this month to release a special “Jingerbread” donut that she promoted on her social media accounts, InTouch Weekly reports. But after a backlash over her involvement, Fonuts apologized and ended the relationship.
Dugger, the daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, is known for her appearances in 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On. She is married to former professional soccer player Jeremy Vuolo, and the couple lives in Los Angeles.
Fonuts did not explain its decision in detail, although Dugger’s critics had pointed to the family’s Bible-based beliefs on homosexuality.
“We apologize for our recent poor choice of promotional partner. We were shocked and dismayed to learn about who we were associating with,” the Fonuts statement reads. “We recognize we really made a mistake by not properly researching them. We have ended our partnership with Jinger Vuolo and the company that introduced us. We would like you all to know, we promise to be more diligent in the future and will only work with people who truly represent our core values of kindness, inclusivity and transparency. We are so sorry, and we really hope you will forgive us for this mistake.”
On the company’s Facebook page, some followers supported the decision.
“I would love to give my support to a company that upholds their values by not supporting bigotry, especially in the face of backlash,” one person, Nikole Lepowsky-Church, wrote.
Many, though, said it was the company that was being intolerant.
“You are no better at being inclusive for judging this amazing young lady because of her upbringing,” Laura Clements Hamann wrote. “Shame on you. I will never set foot in your stores.”
At least half of the comments were critical of the company’s decision.
“This apology is very disturbing,” Sara Zobrist wrote. “The fact that the young woman was willing to promote your company should say something about her own personal beliefs. She should not be accused and attacked based on her family of origin and their beliefs. She clearly deviates from many of their practices (not that there's anything wrong with all of their practices). This is very sad.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Tommaso Boddi/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.