Ellen DeGeneres has publicly responded to the anti-gay group “One Million Moms,” which recently called for JCPenney to remove the openly gay talk show host as its spokesperson.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the comedian began by deeming California’s recent decision on Proposition 8 “a step in the right direction,” but it led to her next topic: the group who wanted her fired because she’s gay. Publicly addressing the controversy for the first time, she said, “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 explained that JCPenney has stood by the partnership despite the group’s attempts to have her replaced with someone who better represents “traditional values.” DeGeneres took the discussion seriously, of course, but not without a few jokes along the way.
“For those of you just tuning in for the first time, it’s true, I’m gay,” she said. “I hope you were sitting down. I hate to break it to you this way.” She also added, “I mean, if they have a problem with spokespeople, what about the Pillsbury Dough Boy? He runs around without any pants on … What kind of message is that?”
Because JCPenney has announced that it stands by its partnership with DeGeneres, she thought the whole debacle would be over. But when One Million Moms posted an additional message on its Facebook page, she decided to address it, she said. The group claimed, “By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JC Penney 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.” Though the post has since been deleted, the text is still available on the group’s website.
“First of all, being gay or pro-gay is not a bandwagon,” DeGeneres responded. “You don’t get a free ride anywhere, there’s no music, and occasionally we’ll sing ‘We Are Family’ but that’s about it.”
On a more serious note, DeGeneres thanked her supporters for backing her, and said, “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.”
After cheers and applause, she added, “And, oh — also, I believe in dance.”