Photo Credit: Hulu.com
Ellen DeGeneres is thrilled about the news that a federal appeals court ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional on Tuesday, and she took time out of her monologue on Wednesday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show to share her thoughts about it. Calling the move a step in the right direction, DeGeneres, 54, said the court ruling inspired her to address the controversy surrounding her recent naming as the new spokesperson for J.C. Penney.
One Million Moms, a conservative group and American Family Association affiliate, immediately called for J.C. Penney to "replace Ellen DeGeneres" because she is gay, and said they were launching a campaign against the clothing retailer for not remaining "neutral on the culture war."
In the end, J.C. Penney -- with the support of GLAAD -- chose to keep DeGeneres on board as their spokeswoman. "(One Million Moms) wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say that J.C. Penney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson," Ellen said to thunderous applause. And while DeGeneres insisted that she's not one to call out those who speak out negatively against her, she made an exception in this case because "my haters are my motivators." See Ellen's monologue in the video below.
In a message against DeGeneres on their Facebook page, One Million Moms attacks Ellen's values, writing: "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 Facebook page only has 40,000 followers, but more than 4,500 people have commented on that post, many in support of DeGeneres. The talk-show host read some of those comments and seemed quite moved by them.
One Million Moms also referred to J.C. Penney's decision to bring on DeGeneres as "jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon," a concept which DeGeneres doesn't believe exists.
"Being gay or pro-gay is not a bandwagon," she said. "You don't get a free ride anywhere. There's no music, and occasionally we will sing 'We Are Family,' but that's about it."
Not surprisingly, DeGeneres turned to her token good nature to make light of the whole situation. "If (One Million Moms) have a problem with spokespeople, what about the Pillsbury dough boy? I mean, he runs around without any pants on, basically begging for people to poke his belly. What kind of message is that, you know?" she joked.
She did, however, get serious for a moment. "I usually don't talk about this stuff on my show, but I really want to thank everyone who's supporting me," DeGeneres said in closing. "Here are the values that I stand for. I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. That's what I stand for."
Turns out DeGeneres has supporters in the most unlikely places. Notorious right-winger and Fox News authority Bill O'Reilly spoke out in defense of DeGeneres on his show, The O'Reilly Factor, Wednesday night -- going so far as to say that the hostility against her is not in "the spirit of America."
"If you remember with the McCarthy era of the 1950s and they were trying to hunt down communist sympathizers and not let them work and put them on a blacklist… what is the difference between the McCarthy era of the '50s and the Million Moms saying, 'Hey, J.C. Penney and all you other stores, don't you hire gay people. Don't you dare.' What's the difference?" he said. "This J.C. Penney thing is a witchhunt and shouldn't happen."