Chick-fil-A Responds to Ed Helms Criticism; Has Connections to ‘The Office’s’ Network NBC

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Chick-fil-A has not taken its Ed Helms anti-gay controversy lightly. They are clucking up with a response of their own.

And, apparently, there are a few connections between the network, NBC, that broadcasts Helms’ show, The Office, and Chick-fil-A.

“From the day, Truett Cathy started [Chick-fil-A], he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business,” a company spokesman said in a statement Thursday. “For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.”

It continued, “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect ­regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender … Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Chick-fil-A spokesman Tiffany Greenway offered no further comment to Celebuzz, beyond the statement.

The Hangover and The Office star Helms — normally soft-spoken in the public light — made news Wednesday when he blasted the popular chicken fast food franchise for its political support for anti-gay initiatives.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t like gay people?” Helms wrote on his Twitter page yesterday, with a link to a news story on Huffington Post. “So lame. Hate to think what they do to gay chickens. Lost a loyal fan.”

Interestingly, The Office‘s parent network, NBC, has several connections to Chick-fil-A.

Last September, Chick-fil-A was a sponsor for the red carpet birthday party of Yvette Nicole Brown, star of The Office‘s fellow show on NBC, Community. In December 2010, Brown endorsed Chick-fil-A at the company’s groundbreaking of its Hollywood location. She is, reportedly, a big fan of the food franchise.

Last October, NBC star Zachary Levi (formerly of Chuck) went to work at Chick-fil-A for a comedy sketch on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which is on what network besides, well, NBC.

“I know nothing about this! Ha,” an NBC spokesman said Thursday when asked for comment. “I can check, but I don’t believe we have any sort of deal with them.”

Other Hollywood notables took to — where else — Twitter Wednesday and Thursday, to take shots at Chick-fil-A.

Andy Richter: (@andy_richter): “Plenty of other chicken sandwiches out there, folks.”

Danny Zuker, Modern Family executive producer (@dannyzuker): “Proud supporter of obese marriage since 1986. Chick-fil-A”

Dustin Lance Black, Milk screenwriter (@dlanceblack): “Guilty as charged! Chick fil A sauce = $ for bigotry. Just say no, Los Angeles!…”

Andy Cohen, Bravo’s Real Housewives maven, Host of Watch What Happens Live (@bravoandy): “Chick-fil-A gives me gas.” [Bravo owned by NBC.]

Rob Delaney, Twitter funnyman (@robdelaney): “I feel so conflicted because my dad is gay & my mom is a Chik-fil-A Spicy Deluxe :(“