February 3, 2012; Source: TIME NewsFeed | JC Penney is launching a business model overhaul, which includes revamped branding strategies, a new logo and a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokesperson. The company is also under the new leadership of former Apple executive Ron Johnson. The new CEO told the Associated Press, “I think Ellen is someone we all trust. She’s loveable, likeable, honest and funny, but at her soul, we trust her.”
The conservative nonprofit group (and project of the American Family Association) OneMillionMoms (OMM) is not happy with JC Penney’s decision. OMM has launched a campaign to remove DeGeneres as JC Penney’s representative, claiming DeGeneres’ gay lifestyle doesn’t characterize the traditional family values a spokesperson should. InOneMillionMoms’ online statement, the group wrote:
By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JC Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years.
DeGeneres addressed the issue on her talk show this week, saying, “…there’s a group called OneMillionMoms that isn’t happy about it. And normally, I try not to pay attention to my haters—but this time I’d like to talk about it, because my haters are my motivators.” Here’s a clip from Ellen:
The post on OMM’s Facebook page that Ellen mentions in the video clip above now has over 5,000 comments, and a majority of these comments are Ellen’s fans fully supporting what the celebrity represents. One of the many supportive, uplifting messages reads, “I am a straight, Christian, Southern mom in a ‘traditional’ marriage. I live by the Golden Rule. I follow the greatest commandments: Love God...and love your neighbor as yourself. I LOVE ELLEN. I support equality.”
Many religious and non-religious fans are reaching out to OMM in support of Ellen DeGeneres and JC Penney’s choice. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination has launched a “Stand Up for Ellen” website, encouraging supporters to sign a petition to keep DeGeneres as JC Penney’s spokesperson and applauding the company for appointing her.
OneMillionMoms has been a part of numerous anti-gay campaigns, but with the support of Ellen’s large fan base and the gay community, it looks like OMM won’t be winning this fight. –Aine Creedon