The retail giant JCPenney, “stands behind its partnership with Ellen DeGeneres," officials said in a release to Yahoo Shine. Earlier this week the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation threw its support behind JCPenney and its choice to partner with DeGeneres with the campaign “Stand Up For Ellen” (#StandUpForEllen) after the antigay group One Million Moms threatened to boycott JCPenney if it didn’t fire DeGeneres. The boycott was based solely on the fact that DeGeneres is a lesbian, according to a release from GLAAD.
In response to One Million Moms call to action, GLAAD asked the public to “Stand Up for Ellen,” generating a list of people who support JCPenney’s decision to partner with the comedian, and asking the people call the retailer to voice their support.
Although JCPenney officials have not publicly voiced that they intend to stick by their decision with DeGeneres as a face for the company, GLAAD is continuing its campaign to gather support for the partnership and asking people to sign the petition.
Since the campaign launched two days ago more than 25,000 people have signed, according to GLAAD.
When the partnership with DeGeneres was first announced JCPenney President Michael Francis voiced his enthusiasm in a press release:
"Importantly, we share the same fundamental values as Ellen. At JCPenney, we couldn’t think of a better partner to help us put the fun back into the retail experience. Moving forward, we’ll be focused on being in sync with the rhythm of our customers’ lives and operating in a ‘Fair and Square’ manner that is rooted in integrity, simplicity and respect. We’re thrilled that she’s joining our team to help convey the exciting transformation under way.”
One Million Moms, in a blog, responded to Francis with a call for a boycott stating, "By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JCPenney 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."
Ironically, back in 1997 JCPenney wanted nothing to do with DeGeneres, who came out as a lesbian in her personal life and on her sitcom. DeGeneres famously came out on the cover of Time while her alter ego Ellen Morgan came out in an episode entitled “The Puppy Episode.” JCPenney and Chrysler pulled sponsorship of The Ellen Show over pressure from Rev. Donald E. Wildmon and the American Family Association, which threatened to spearhead boycotting the show’s advertisers, according to an article in South Carolina’s Herald-Journal.
Click here to show your support for DeGeneres and JCPenney.
For more information on the #StandUpForEllen campaign click here.