Anti-gay group slams JC Penney for hiring Ellen DeGeneres as spokespersonOnline Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
JC Penney is revamping its image and a part of its makeover includes hiring Ellen DeGeneres as its new spokesperson. While LGBT activists and allies have praised the move, the anti-gay organization OneMillionMoms.com funded in part by the American Family Association is calling for the department megastore to remove DeGeneres as its spokesperson because she is a lesbian.
“Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families,” the group writes on its website. “DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there. The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales.”
The group’s Facebook page, however, testifies that not all of its demographic are opposed to DeGeneres serving as JC Penney spokesperson. One Facebook friend said, “Bullsh*t! OMG! This page infuriates me! WTH is wrong with you people? And why do you think you speak for the MAJORITY?” she said. “I see JOKE pages with a bigger following. Maybe it has something to do with your prejudice attitudes and holier than thou rhetoric.”
Another Facebook friend added: “I haven’t been in a JC Penny for a long while. I’ll make it a point to stop in and give them my business. Thanks for calling this to my attention One Million Hateful Moms!”
JC Penney CEO and former Apple executive Ron Johnson explained that Ellen was chosen because of her likeability. “I think Ellen is someone we all trust. She’s lovable, likable, honest and funny, but at her soul, we trust her,” he said.
DeGeneres is enthusiastic about her new role, explaining, “[JC Penney has] an incredible vision for the future and are completely re-inventing themselves to become America’s favorite store,” she said in a statement. “And most importantly, I’m gonna get my employee discount again. Hello new pillows!”
The anti-gay organization touts “spiritual journeys” with nearly a third of its Facebook status updates centering around a reportedly anti-gay agenda. The group has also praised a move by the Susan. G Komen Foundation to cease funding for Planned Parenthood in wake of abortions allowed at clinics nationwide.
UPDATE: GLAAD in partnership with Change.org has started a petition in support of Ellen DeGeneres’ partnership with JC Penney. Sign the petition now. (Twitter: #StandUpForEllen)
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=20278