It appears that Big Idea Entertainment and VeggieTales may have either made their partnership with Mercy Ministries discreet, or they may no longer be partnering with Mercy Ministries.
To summarise our previous coverage (which can be viewed here): –
Mercy Ministries had disclosed on their website on 2 May 2012 that:
“Big Idea Entertainment…announced this week that they will release a brand-new DVD title, “VeggieTales®: The Penniless Princess – God’s Little Girl”, on August 11 and August 14, 2012… they also announced that they will be partnering with Mercy Ministries on this project!
In our previous coverage, we reported on Mercy Ministries’ alliance with VeggieTales and Big Idea Entertainment in an upcoming project to reach young girls with positive messages. In our post, we urged VeggieTales to prayerfully reconsider their alliance in this project with an organisation known for a range of abuses of the young women in their care. In this regard, we published an open letter and requested that they respond privately to the number of former residents and their loved ones within our network who had contacted them individually with their concerns. To date, we have not been made aware of any responses received.
Have VeggieTales discreetly ignored the issues raised by our network, or have they quietly severed ties with Mercy Ministries?
Let’s consider the evidence available…
- Despite Mercy Ministries claiming that Big Idea Entertainment “announced” their partnership, I have scoured VeggieTales’ website, social media feeds and Google, which yielded nothing that supports this statement.
- A search of the word “Mercy” on the VeggieTales website yields no results.
- The page that offers this DVD for purchase makes no mention of Mercy Ministries’ contribution to this project
- Mercy Ministries is not listed as a “Friend of VeggieTales” on the VeggieTales website
To be fair, the DVD itself (which I obtained a copy of) showcased a Mercy Ministries’ promotional video together with graduate testimony as a special feature.
In the event they remain comfortable with their relationship with Mercy Ministries, then it seems highly unusual that they do not list Mercy Ministries as a “Friend of VeggieTales” on their website (especially given their extensive description below of what and whom they consider to be a “friend”.
So if this is case, do they wish to keep their association private so as to not become mired in Mercy’s controversy?
Alternatively, if VeggieTales have in fact quietly dissociated themselves from Mercy Ministries upon receiving our letters, why would they have forged ahead and released the DVD in question promoting Mercy?
One possible explanation is that the period between receiving the first letter (being our open letter on 2 June published on the same day) and the DVD due to be released on 1 August, production of this resource may have been well underway, if not complete, so it may have therefore been a very expensive and effort-consuming option for them to recall this resource and reproduce it without Mercy’s contribution.
We will seek an answer from VeggieTales as to the current status of their relationship with Mercy Ministries, and will report as further information (if any) becomes available.