They said/We said: Ellen DeGeneres is the new JC Penney spokesperson and a Christian conservative group is not happy about it
Conservative group One Million Moms has a bone to pick with JC Penney and its decision to hire Ellen DeGeneres as the department store’s spokesperson.
The disapproving anti-gay group writes on their website, “Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families” and goes on to claim “DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store.”
However not everyone on the group’s Facebook page seems as troubled by JC Penney’s decision. Comments in support of DeGeneres include: “Being gay is only a part of who she is […] she is modest in her dress and behaviour.”
The CEO of JC Penney, Ron Johnson, has also gone on the record to defend the choice, explaining, “Ellen is someone we all trust. She’s lovable, likable, honest, and funny, but at her soul, we trust her.”
Perhaps this trust can be traced back to DeGeneres’ stint as a JC Penney sales associate in the ‘70s? Or maybe it’s just as simple as knowing that she’s one of the most popular stars of the moment; The Ellen DeGeneres Show has an average of 9 million viewers, and DeGeneres herself has over 6.5 million Twitter followers. One Million Moms couldn’t have picked a more universally liked person to protest. We have no doubt that their “concerns” will be overshadowed by support for the comedian.
E! Online: “None of the million should hold her breath, because JC Penney is standing strong behind DeGeneres.” [ E!online]
Fashionista: “Allow us to rant for a moment here. Ellen is a pretty beloved figure on the American pop culture scene, and we actually can’t think of a more wholesome TV show than her daytime show. And shouldn’t moms be teaching their children tolerance about different lifestyles? (Ellen’s also been the face of Cover Girl for a while now, but no one has protested that. Maybe conservative moms don’t wear makeup.” [Fashionista]
Rani Sheen, copy/health editor: “It’s telling that even the most likeable woman in America can’t take on a job like this without attracting ire from Christian conservatives. The retailer will hardly be hurt by the controversy: DeGeneres’s role as Cover Girl spokesmodel certainly hasn’t hurt the brand, nor will the past week’s wildly viral clips from her TV show of Kristen Bell freaking out about a cute sloth and the push-up contest with Michelle Obama.”
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