NEW YORK — The popular television talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres said she was “proud and happy” that JCPenney remained committed to her after One Million Moms asked the retailer to dump her as a spokesperson because she is gay.
The group, a division of the conservative American Family Association, warned they would boycott J.C. Penney stores if the chain did not go along with their request.
DeGeneres addressed the issue on Tuesday at the taping of her television show. The show will air on Wednesday.
“They wanted to get me fired and I am proud and happy to say that JCPenney stuck by their decision to make me their spokesperson,” DeGeneres said.
The comedian said that “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.”
The conservative group accused JCPenney of trying to appeal to a new target market by getting on board the “pro-gay bandwagon” with the hiring of DeGeneres.
"Being gay or pro-gay isn't a bandwagon,” DeGeneres said at the taping of her show. “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.”
She also poked fun at the group, saying that the One Million Moms group “only has 40,000 members on their [Facebook] page. So they’re rounding up to the nearest million and I get that.”
DeGeneres has an estimated 9 million followers on Twitter.