Houghton Mifflin sues
"Jews for Jesus"
Calif. - Jews
for Jesus, a Christian missions group that works to bring the gospel
to Jews, was sued Sept. 4 for publishing a religious tract that made
reference to Curious George, a popular children's book character.
Houghton Mifflin, publisher of the
Curious George books, claims Jews for Jesus illegally used its
character of the monkey in tracts distributed to pedestrians in New
York City and Minneapolis. The tracts, entitled “Are You Curious?”,
featured a cartoon monkey reading the Bible.
In addition to a minimum of
$500,000 [yikes] in damages, Houghton is asking
the court to order all infringing pamphlets be recalled and destroyed.
Susan Perlman, a spokesperson for
Jews for Jesus, defended the nonprofit organization's use of the
character as a "pop culture parody" protected by the First Amendment.
She said, "We're disappointed Houghton Mifflin doesn't have a sense of
Perlman said, "We think perhaps we've been singled out in this lawsuit
because our message is a minority message."