JC Penney CEO Defends Ellen & Jumps on the ‘Values’ Bandwagon (VIDEO)

ron johnson ceo jc penneyRemember how Ellen Degeneres responded on her show to the group, One Million Moms, who opposed JC Penney for hiring her as their spokeswomen? They accused JC Penney of jumping on the "pro-gay bandwagon." Ellen assured her audience that yes, she is gay (shocker!) but that there is no pro-gay bandwagon. "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."

If anything, the partnership between JC Penney and Ellen is about jumping on the "values" bandwagon. And JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson appeared on CBS This Morning to reinforce that message.


Johnson says he doesn't even see what's gone down with Ellen and One Million Moms as a "controversy." And he's incredibly gracious about the whole thing. Instead of lashing out against the group and their bigotry, he stays positive and brings it back to Ellen. "One of the great things about America is it's a place where you can speak your mind. And it was great to see Ellen share her views yesterday." He repeated JC Penney's commitment to "stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson, because she shares the same values that we do in our company."

And then Johnson talked about how JC Penney was founded on The Golden Rule, which is "about treating people fair and square, just like you would like to be treated yourself." He believes Ellen and the company represent that value -- which is why sticking with Ellen was a "no brainer."

In fact, he revealed that JC Penney didn't even need to have a spokesperson -- it's rare for a company to do that. But when they were thinking about how to communicate JC Penney's mission to the public they thought of Ellen. "We all trust her. She's a very straight-forward person with remarkable values." And working with her has worked out great for the company. "It's been unbelievably wonderful to work with someone who is so kind, so gracious, and so funny, who just captures what America is about."

Between Ellen and Ron, I think I've heard the word "values" about 30 times. But I think they're really smart to focus on that word. I feel like I grew up with the phrase "family values" ringing in my ears -- and it never had anything to do with love or trust or kindness -- the values I was raised with. Instead, it was always about pitting one group of people against another group of people, of shaming others. I'm glad to see people taking back this word, "VALUES," and using it for good.

PS. Did you catch Ellen thanking Bill O'Reilly for defending her? "And you didn't really make it clear if you were going to shop at JC Penney or not, but if you do, you can use my employee discount any time you want. That’s for you Bill. Thank you so much." That's so Ellen.

What do you think of Ron Johnson's interview?


Image via CBSNews.com


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