Speaking as a person who is descended from a long line of crazy people, I want this bear.
I love this bear. I think it’s adorable. It seems we have gotten way to politically correct in this day in age.
For weeks, advocates and Republican Gov. James Douglas have criticized the toy as insensitive. The $69.95 bear, marketed as a Valentine’s Day gift, came with a straitjacket and commitment papers.
The company said it had decided weeks ago that it would stop manufacturing the bears but would continue selling them through Valentine’s Day.
Company spokeswoman Nicole L’Huillier said the bear had sold unusually well, but would not release figures.
Mental health advocates claimed victory.
“We believe the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. has come to understand the harm caused by creating an image that trivialized the pain of people with severe mental illness, and that reinforced public stereotypes regarding appropriate treatment for such individuals,” four advocacy groups said in a statement.
Last week, company President and CEO Elisabeth Robert had apologized to anyone offended by the bear but said it would not be taken off the market. “We’re not in a position to be told what we can and cannot sell,” she said.
On Tuesday, she met with representatives of the Vermont chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and three other groups.
“We sat around a Vermont kitchen table and talked,” Robert said in a statement Thursday. “From the respectful, human discourse I learned a lot about the significance of stigma in the mental health community and the plight of real people who suffer from mental illness.”
“Again, we are truly sorry if we hurt anyone with this bear,” she said.
The bears were offered on eBay on Thursday for as much as $175.