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Thursday, February 9, 2012

JC Penney Sticks By Ellen DeGeneres Amid Backlash

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." (AP)

Ellen DeGeneres took time on her popular talk show yesterday to talk about something she rarely mentions, being gay.

She was responding to the conservative group — One Million Moms — which has been taking a stand against JC Penney’s recent pick of DeGeneres as their new spokesperson.

Here’s what she had to say:

“This organization doesn’t think I should be the spokesperson because I’m gay. So for those of you just tuning in for the first time, it’s true. I’m gay. I hope you were sitting down. I hate to break it to you this way. So they wanted to get me fired, and I am proud and happy to say that JC Penney’s stuck by their decision.”

DeGeneres went on to list her values, which included being kind, and pointed to comments from conservatives on the Million Moms website who support her.

JC Penney hired DeGeneres as part of a major makeover involving the elimination of countless sales promotions and generally making the 110-year old store a hipper place to shop. The retailer says they will keep DeGeneres on as spokesperson.


  • Danielle Douglas, reporter for the Washington Post

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.facebook.com/jimhfoster Jim Foster

    Glad to see J.C. Penney has some ball…er, intestinal fortitude, unlike Lowe’s.

  • Jan Krause Greene

    JC Pennys just got me back as a customer, and the Million Moms just lost me!

    • Susieblv

      Me, too. I’m not gay but to make Ellen’s orientation an issue shows just how mental this conservative group is (they have not lost me, though…they never had me!), and I will show my support for JCP by renewing my “shopping orientation”  with them. 

    • Fay in Queensland

      I wish we had a J C Penny store in Australia where I could shop.  And as for a million moms, well, they are living in the dark ages, and they are, well, just weird.  What are they going to do if one of their sons or daughters is gay – burn their kid at the stake?  Hellloooooo? 

  • J Frog

     I’m not a big fan of boycotts.  You can always find something to dislike about anything or anyone.  If it’s not Ellen Degeneres…well then maybe we boycott them because they have lots of stuff made in China.  That being said, I’m not sure why anyone would shop at JC Penney other than convenience?   When I hear “JC Penney”, I think..like a big Sears clothing department.  They do need a makeover.

    On the other hand…just a small mention (“contraceptives” controversy) of the Huge flap over the Obama Administration’s decision to require religious organizations to pay for insurance coverages they find immoral?  This insurance edict is going to be a Big Issue in the election.  It deserves more than the short shrift H&N has given it thus far.  Are you waiting for the controversy to die down?  Or for the Administration to come up with a media strategy before you examine it?

    • J Frog

      Yeah, not even a Facebook “what do you think” posting on this healthcare issue…an issue that strikes at the heart of the reason why conservatives are so against the Obama Administration healthcare plan. The fact that an unelected administration official (Secretary Sebelius) can force religious institutions to provide this insurance. And the blatant political move to institute the change AFTER the election.

      • KJ

         Were you not listening last week? It was widely covered. ‘On Point’ devoted an hour to a discussion of precisely that issue. Does every show on NPR have to cover every issue constantly, or to express this another way, how could you stand to listen if every show was devoted to the biggest headline of the day every day and nothing else? Then that one issue would be all you would hear about. There was also coverage of the controversy over the new requirements concerning contraceptives on ‘Morning Edition’ and on ‘All Things Considered’, as well as several other NPR shows. Also, I notice that your comment has absolutely nothing to do with JC Penny or Ellen DeGeneres, or any of the rest of the discussion you have chosen to comment on, which leads me to question your motivation in posting this comment.

        • J Frog

          Yes, my motivation is to get H&N to do a story about the issue.  What’s wrong with that?  I wish I could listen to those other NPR shows all day but I can’t.  “Here and Now” plays during my lunch so I can listen to it without interruption and I enjoy it.  Today’s show mentioned the “contraception” controversy during this story so I thought this was a good place to ask that it be considered for more in depth examination.  I’m open to suggestions for a better place?   By the way, my first post commented about Ellen Degeneres and JC Penney. 

      • Eparker

        So long as Catholic institutions hire people who are NOT Catholic, they do  not have the right to discriminate against them.  I thought birth control was made legal during the 1960s.  If an institution provides health insurance, they cannot discriminate against women who need contraceptives.  

        • J Frog

          Nobody is arguing the legalities.  And all kinds of procedures a NOT covered by insurance.  Contraceptives are not covered by these plans at the present time.  That is the controversy.  Now these plans are being forced to cover them.  

  • Jacartist

    What does Ellen’s sexual orientation have to do with being a spokesperson for JCPenney? I mean really? Haven’t we come farther than this? How stupid.

  • Tom Malone

     I’ve been a conservative all my life. What’s wrong with “discriminatory group” or “bigots.” How about social discriminators or social bigots?

    • Robert Long View

      not sure what u espouse?  obviously the “family values Christians” can’t see the forest for the trees, eh… .

    • Tomm Alone

       Bigots and conservatives serve a useful function by making the rest of us look sane. When in doubt, ask a bigot what to do, then do the opposite. Thanks.

  • http://www.ohioken.com Ken Palosi

    I don’t really care if Ellen DeGeneres is gay or not, but her being a spokesperson for JC Penny will not encourage me to once again shop there. I can remember a time when JC Penny was known for quality goods at reasonable prices and for offering excellent service. Over the years JC Penny has deteriorated to the point where I no longer shop there. In recent years they have relied upon gimmick sale pricing such as we see at Kohl’s and Macys. Indeed when I see the Sunday ads for Penny’s and Kohl’s I cannot tell them apart unless I studiously look for the name of the store somewhere. As for Martha Stewart becoming associated with JC Penny; personally I will not purchase Martha Stewart products of any kind at any price. I find her a contrived and calculating person who is only interested in perpetuating the Martha Stewart mystique. I know that it may be impossible but if JC Penny really wants to reinvent itself  if needs to go back in time to find its future. Quality goods and great customer service in America are almost nonexistent. The Palosi law of business pervades in today’s retail climate.

    The Palosi law reads:
    Incompetence is the norm;
    Mediocrity is aspired to;
    Excellence is seldom encountered,
    and when it is,
    it is quite often met with distrust and fear.

    • Robert Long View

      since i don’t shop at Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus, appparently i know not quality.  i do know that the largest American retailer is cheap.  i pray for the day there is a retailer that sources American Made products.  a FREE market should at least give one that option, no?

  • Robert Long View

    i think they can turn it around at JC Penney.  We need all the competition against Walmart  that we can get.  Years ago, before Target became Tar zay, it was known as Jock Pay nay by the way… .

  • Mike P.

    It pleases me to see JC Penney support this nice lady and shows how backward these “conservative” groups are.

  • Bob

    Awesome.  I just made my valentine purchases at jcpenny.com.  I hope they see a big boost from this decision

  • Susieblv

    To make Ellen’s orientation an issue shows just how
    mental and how backward this conservative group is and I will show my support for JCP by renewing my
    “shopping orientation”  with them.

  • cindy

    I’m glad to hear that J C Penney is backing Ellen now.  I have boycotted them since 1998 when they removed their ads from her sitcom, after she came out on the show.  I look forward to shopping there again, as they used to be one of my favorite stores. 

  • Alagrande

    JCP and Ellen have my full support. I will shop even more at JC Penney and any other establishment who shows integrity and refuses to give into ignorant behavior . . . WHEN will this country learn to “live and let live??!!”

  • Anonymous

    Tell One Million Moms to take one million hikes.

    • Samuel Pancakes

      To fly one million kites

  • Ellewof

    I love Ellen and I love JCPenney.

    1 Mom

  • Wjhoward_3

    Doesn’t matter to me whether Ellen’s gay or not and her spokesperson role won’t make any difference in my opinion of JCP either as I hunk all of this is complete garbage!

  • Al

    Surely They can find someone better than Ellen As a spokesperson. I can’t stand her and it will only make me tuen off the TV.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_67MZCOUXFSLOM257CRHBKW4AL4 wareinparis

    The folks who object to Ellen as spokes person for JCP really need to get a life. Seriously. She is a good person, with the courage to be herself. One’s sexual orientation is just about as easily chosen as is the color of one’s skin. That our society has for so long condemned what we do not understand is disgraceful.

    Bigots, get over yourselves. Get your heads out of the sand

  • Mike

    *Sigh* People, you need to learn the whole story before you read one little article and start yelling “bigots, homophobes, etc”. The Million Moms group is not against gays, its against the mainstreaming of gays. Theres a difference. Educate yourselves with the truth instead of arming yourself with hate.

    • Scottydobson1993

      Wow. You’re so bigoted you don’t even know it. And by the way, I am educated . . . Which is probably why I’m not a racist, sexist or bigot. Unfortunately, while you can cure ignorance, you can’t cure stupid. I guess that explains comments like yours.

    • Jecurran

      I don’t know where you live or who you associate with but I suggest you show your post to ten of your friends and see what they say. “not against gays, it’s against the mainstreaming of gays” Can’t you see the conflict in terms there?

    • jane

      So, what exactly does preventing “mainstreaming of gays” look like? Do they have to have separate jobs, places to live, places to shop and eat? hmmmm…. sounds like bigotry to me. But, maybe I’m just uneducated. 

    • CisforCookies

      Can you explain what “against the mainstreaming of gays” means, since so many of us have misunderstood it, everyone calm down and let him explain himself, hey you there! put that pitchfork down! Should there be a ban on gay people advertising products for example? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seamus-Malloy/100002583370838 Seamus Malloy

      When you put it that way, I realize that I’m not against homophobic Christians.  Just the mainstreaming of homophobic Christians.

    • BEEZ

      Educate yourselves with the truth instead of arming yourself with hate.
      Well put. You should consider it yourself!
      People are people…there is nothing you or you’re squadron of molesters can do about it!
      I find the bigotry disgusting.

  • Mlbeauchamp

    I have always loved JC Penney.  With the new pricing that Penney’s has implemented, I really would love to continue my “love affair” with the store.  BUT, since hiring Helen DeGeneres to be the official spokesman, this gives me pause.  I do not believe Helen represents typical women.  I believe the Bible truths concerning homosexual behavior.  Since I don’t want to offend God in my daily living, I can no longer shop at my favorite store.  I am saddened by this since I have shopped at Penney’s all of my life!

    • BEEZ

      Are you concerned with nepotism at JCP, because I’m assuming Helen is Ellen’s sister, or perhaps mother?
      You’re right, she has enough money to give them a job or “break them off”, why give Helen a job when so many Amercians are out of work!
      Do you read Ashuric or Aramaic? How do you know what those books in the Bible said if you don’t?
      Do you boycot Lowe’s for their racism against Muslims?

  • Susie

    Go JC Penney. I don’t know where one is around me in DC but I’ll try to find them so I can support their decision to hold on to Ellen as a spokeswoman.

  • Kandi

    I am a very conservative Christian and I think the Million Moms organization is absurd in thier attack on JC Penney. By the way, all conservatives are not the same.  Ellen is a great person and to attack JC Penney’s decison to have her be a spokesperson is ridicolous and low.

  • Fay

    I live in Australia, and have 3 children, and two step children.  Two of these people are gay (one from each family) and I cannot think of more perfect people in the world that I would want to be in my family.  I am also priveleged to be mother-in -law to their dear and loving partners.  Long live everyone who is accepting and loving in this wonderful world of ours.   Fay in Queensland

  • Kjn

    I’m still trying to determine what DeGeneres’ qualities and attractions are! I’ve spent too much time on this subject already.

  • Sharrie Mcwhirter

    I have been a customer of JCP for many, many years, and my mother before me, but
    you have lost my business and all of my friends.What a sad day for this country that
    a family store would use a known gay to be there spokes person.

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