JC Penney is featuring two (presumably) gay dads as part of their June catalog. The 110-year old retailer has been reinventing itself and its 1107 stores, first by changing its pricing structure, then by hiring Ellen DeGeneres as its spokesperson. Last month, the company — now headed by former Apple, Inc. Senior Vice President of Retail Operations Ron Johnson — ran an ad featuring a lesbian couple with a child.
“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.” The text at the bottom right reads: “Real-life dads, Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children Claire and Mason.”
Think Progress adds:
The ad builds on the department store’s recent decisions to stand with the LGBT community. In February, when JC Penney came under fire from the anti-gay group One Million Moms for bringing on the openly-gay comedian Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson, the store stood behind its partnership with Ellen. JC Penney’s CEO said that “Ellen represents the values of our company” — and with this kind of pro-equality advertising, JC Penney is continuing to reinforce its progressive values.
And over at The Huffington Post, Jenny Block writes:
Being visible means not allowing people to make assumptions about us as a group and instead demand that people look at us as individuals, individuals who write for the New York Times during the week and do drag on the weekends and individuals who own PR firms and pose for JCPenney ads with their beautiful family.
Say what you will. But you’d have to be crazy not to see the people in this JCP ad as the proverbial (and in this case, real) family next door. Thank you, JCPenney, and Happy Father’s Day, One Million Moms.
One Million Moms does have a “One Million Dads” counterpart, which is probably half the size of the 40,000 or so One Million Moms. Maybe they’ll protest this new JCPenney ad — in five, four, three, two…
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