Fighting for people over profits
Last month, JCPenney was the focus of homophobic outrage and calls for a boycott after it featured a lesbian couple in its Mother’s Day catalog. So how did it respond? With the ad above.
“First Pals: What makes Dad so cool? He’s the swim coach, tent maker, best friend, bike fixer and hug giver — all rolled into one. Or two.”
Sign our card to thank JCPenney for standing up against homophobia and recognizing that families come in all shapes and sizes.
This isn’t the first time JCPenney has been attacked by anti-gay groups. When JCPenney hired Ellen DeGeneres earlier this year as a spokesperson, the so-called One Million Moms (OMM) — a front group for the homophobic American Family Association — condemned the retailer for hurting family values. But instead of caving, JCPenney included real-life mothers Wendi and Maggie in its Mother’s Day catalog. This week, it sent out its Father’s Day catalog, with real-life fathers Todd and Cooper playing with their two kids. Once again, One Million Moms is pushing back hard against the retailer, one of the first mainstream companies to feature a diversity of families in its advertising to the general public.
JCPenney needs to hear from us now, because it has caved to One Million Moms before. Just last year, JCPenney pulled an ad OMM deemed offensive. If JCPenney were to cave again, it would be a huge blow to the LGBT community.
For too long, advertisers have sought to fit all families into the mold of “one mom, one dad, two kids and a dog”. Indeed, our families come in all shapes and sizes, and advertisers are watching what happens with JCPenney closely — will the public embrace ads with diverse families, or will anti-gay groups win and push “non-traditional” families back out the door? It’s up to us to decide.