I usually try to avoid hot button political issues here, but I need to take a moment to give a shout out to JCPenney. A little while back, the department store hired openly gay talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to be their spokesperson. Not long after that happened, a conservative group called One Million Moms (who sound like they must be a ton of fun at parties) took them to task for “jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon.” Instead of buckling to outside pressure or trying to hide and hope the “controversy” went away, JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson went on “CBS This Morning” and stood behind the company’s decision to hire DeGeneres:
We don’t look at it like a controversy. One of the great things about America is people can speak their mind. And you know, the organization that believes one thing has spoken and it was great to see Ellen share her views yesterday. And we stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson and that’s a great thing. Because she shares the same values that we do in our company. Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share.
Now, as someone who supports gay rights across the spectrum, I’m glad anytime someone tells one of these groups to pound sand — a politician, a celebrity, a random dude on the street, anyone. But I’m especially glad in this situation because a business is standing up for themselves against a group of fuddy duddies who are threatening to hold their breath unless they get their way. (See also, The Parents’ Television Council.) Even if the company did the math first and realized that there was more to gain from having Ellen as their spokesperson than there was to lose if these “million” moms went to Kmart instead, I still love that they didn’t act like chickensh-ts about it. Good for you, JCPenney. That’s how you handle a bully. One hundred DG points for you.
Now let’s all watch the Kristen Bell sloth clip get auto-tuned by the Gregory Brothers. Thank you for your time.