Ellen DeGeneres has won 16 Daytime Emmys and seven People's Choice Awards, and is a TV and print spokeswoman for CoverGirl and American Express.
So no one batted an eye when she added JCPenney to her résumé, right?
Wrong, believe it or not.
"By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JCPenney is attemping 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," read a statement from the American Family Associations' One Million Moms, a conservative group that, per its website, seeks to abolish "the immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity the entertainment media is throwing at your children."
"JCPenney has made a poor decision and must correct their mistake fast to retain loyal customers and not turn away potential new, conservative shoppers with the company's new vision," the statement continued. One Million Moms has previously spoken out against Glee and Modern Family, both of which prominently feature homosexual characters.
Well, none of the million should hold her breath, because JCPenney is standing strong behind DeGeneres.
"We share the same fundamental values as Ellen," company president Michael Francis said in introducing DeGeneres as their latest spokeswoman last week. "At JCPenney, we couldn't think of a better partner to help us put the fun back into the retail experience."
Among those applauding the new collaboration is the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which called on supporters yesterday to ring up JCPenney in support of DeGeneres.
"Since Ellen came out 15 years ago, the nation has evolved and support for LGBT people is at an all-time high," said Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs and communications for GLAAD. "Although it is still legal to fire someone for being gay in 29 states, Americans are fair-minded people who know that firing someone just for being gay is not what this country is about. JCPenney is standing with Ellen and so do we."