One Million Moms Admits Defeat on JC Penney/Ellen Boycott

by Jason St. Amand

Web Producer / Staff Writer

Thursday Mar 8, 2012

An anti-gay group affiliated with the conservative Christian organization American Family Association recently announced that it was giving up on its attempt to get Ellen DeGeneres fired by boycotting JC Penney, Think Progress reported.

Last month, One Million Moms demanded that the department store can DeGeneres who was hired as the company’s spokeswoman.

“Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families,” the organization wrote on their website. “DeGeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there.”

The group provided phone numbers to the clothing store and asked its supporters to call and request the comedian be fired. One Million Moms also said they would boycott JC Penney if DeGeneres was not let go.

But One Million Moms majorly failed in its attempt to fire DeGeneres as the retail store stood by the comedian and kept her as its spokeswoman.

The organization’s director recently announced that One Million Moms would no longer focus on getting DeGeneres fired and is moving on to other issues, reported.

“But we have heard back from so many of our members,” Monica Cole said. “We have heard back from men and women — not just moms — saying they will no longer shop there at JC Penney, as long as Ellen DeGeneres is their spokesperson.”

“Everyone works hard for their money, and they want to spend their money with companies that have the same values as them,” she adds. “And JC Penney stated that Ellen DeGeneres shares the same values that they do. So obviously, it’s not the same as Christians or conservatives, which is unfortunate [because] JC Penney was founded by a Christian man.”

Perhaps the organization decided to “move on” due to the backlash it received from people who supported DeGeneres and JC Penney.

The U.K. newspaper, the Guardian, reported that a JC Penney employee said that the company “would prefer not to have” the type of shopper who would be offended by DeGeneres. The Guardian also notes that the retail store received several calls and emails supporting its decision to keep DeGeneres as its spokeswoman.

The comedian even fired back at One Million Moms on her daytime talk show.

“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,” she said. “This organization doesn’t think I should be the spokesperson because I’m gay. They wanted to get me fired, and I’m proud and happy to say that JC Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson. Which is great news for me because I also need some new crew socks. I’m really going to clean up with this discount.”

DeGeneres read supportive comments that were posted on One Million Moms’ Facebook page. One person wrote, “I am a Christian and part of a traditional family and I support Ellen and now JC Penney!!!!”

The American Family Association, parent group to One Millions Moms, has had at (at very best) a mixed record when it comes to much-ballyhooed boycotts. The AFA’s list of boycotted companies reads like a Fortune 500 list. The two affiliated groups have boycotted a number of companies for various reasons, ranging from pornography, pro-choice activism, same-sex partner employee benefits and more. In the past the groups have boycotted Abercrombie & Fitch, Burger King, Crest, Pampers and a host of other businesses. These groups, among others, were singled for their perceived gay friendliness: Calvin Klein, Ford, Old Navy, IKEA, Walt Disney and PepsiCo.

Recently, One Million Moms lead another failed boycott against Archie Comics when it published a comic that featured a same-sex marriage. The group sent Toys ’R’ Us a letter and asked the company to pull the comic from its shelves.

“Children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage in your toy store,” the open letter stated. “A trip to the toy store turns into a premature discussion on sexual orientation and is completely uncalled for. Toys ’R’ Us should be more responsible in the products they carry.”

Nevertheless, activists and comic enthusiasts celebrated the comic when it hit newsstands in January and Archie Comic’s co-CEO responded to One Million Moms in a statement.

“We stand by Life with Archie #16. As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone,” John Goldwater said. “It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/ feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.”


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