Friday, February 3, 2012

Bad Headline

Ellen sparks controversy for J.C. Penney

No. No, that is incorrect. Ellen does not spark controversy. Ellen hasn't done anything wrong. It is the "Million Homophobic Moms" who are sparking the controversy, if controversy is, in fact, being sparked, by being hateful little bigots. Ellen is just doing her job, minding her own business. Why blame her for "sparking controversy?"

After J.C. Penney announced Ellen DeGeneres as the department store's new spokesperson last week, a conservative  online organization launched a campaign to have her fired. Why? Because she's openly gay. 

The One Million Moms organization, an extension of the American Family Association, called on members to urge the company to rethink their decision. "Funny that J.C. Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families," reads the call to action on the group's website. "The majority of J.C. Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there."  

Um, couple of things. One, most "traditional families" don't have a problem with Ellen DeGeneres, realizing as they do that whomever Ellen finds attractive affects them and their families not at all, and Two: is there anyone shopping at J.C. Penney? Is it possible for people to choose to no longer shop at a store where they already do not shop?

Here's a little snippet from the "Million Judgmental Shrews" call to action:

As consumers, what we find tragic is a corporate office and customer service department that not only transfers customers to voicemail, but even hangs up on them rather than verses hearing their concerns.

So, obviously the Million Small-minded Bigoted Moms have a different definition of the word "tragic" than you or I or any normal person. Also, a different definition of the word "verses" which most of us understand to be the plural of "verse," as opposed to the word "Versus" which, I suppose, is the word they meant to use. Also, you really need only use the word "versus" or the phrase "rather than," not both.

It is absurd to think that a company would find treating customers in this fashion an acceptable behavior. Our members stated their concerns in a kind, professional manner.

Oh, really?  How does one kindly and professionally relate the sentiment "we don't like her kind 'round here?" What does the kind professional version of anti-gay bigotry sound like?

Degeneres is not a true representation of the type of families who shop at the retailer.

True, she has a sense of style and can afford high-quality clothing.

Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war and listen to customers in a considerate fashion, their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.

JC Penney IS being neutral in the "culture war." This is what being neutral looks like. They made a business decision to hire a popular TV personality to represent them in their ads. They did not make this business decision based on any sort of "Culture war." If they cave in to your pressure, they would no longer be neutral, they would be siding with you.  I don't think you understand the concept of neutrality. Honestly, the only people fighting this "war" is you geniuses. And you're losing.