Ellen DeGeneres is the perfect choice
for JCPenney, the company's CEO Ron Johnson has said.
The 54-year-old, openly gay DeGeneres
has been under attack by the AFA group One Million Moms, which has
called on JCPenney to fire DeGeneres as their spokesperson because of
her sexual orientation.
The group accused JCPenney of “jumping
on the pro-gay bandwagon.” A move it claimed would leave the
retailer with fewer customers.
“Funny that JCPenney thinks hiring an
open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of
its customers are traditional families,” the group said in a
DeGeneres calls One Million Moms “haters”; cheers Prop 8 ruling.)
DeGeneres, who came out gay in 1997, is
the host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and is a spokesperson for
CoverGirl and American Express.
During a CBS This Morning
interview, JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson stood by DeGeneres, saying she
was the “perfect” spokesperson for his company.
“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,” Johnson said.
“We think Ellen represents the values
of our company and the values that we share.”
In deciding whether to bring on
DeGeneres, Johnson said there was no debate.
“It's not that common that companies
use spokespeople, but if you can find the exact right person we
thought it would be great. And as we thought about all the people in
America today, we thought Ellen would be the perfect person because
we all kind of trust her. You know, she's a very honest,
straightforward person with extraordinary values,” he said.