By Anna Peirano
Yesterday, JCPenney unveiled a new Father’s day ad for their June catalogue featuring a gay couple playing with their two children.
The company says the men depicted are “real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith,” with their kids, Claire and Mason.
The copy on the ad reads, “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 retail chain faced criticism earlier this year from the American Family Association’s One Million Moms project for its hiring of Ellen DeGeneres as the company’s new spokesperson.
But with much support from the LGBTA community and their own firm stance on the issue, the company stood by their decision, ignoring the ensuing attempts of a boycott by One Million Moms.
“We stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson and that’s a great thing, because she shares the same values that we do in our company,” said JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson. “Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like if you treated yourself…It’s been unbelievably wonderful to work with someone who is so kind, so gracious, so funny who just, I think, captures what America is about.”
Last month’s May catalogue featured an ad with a lesbian couple, Wendi and Maggie, and their two daughters. When asked about the ad, the retailer gave a statement saying, “As JCPenney focuses on becoming America’s favorite store, we want to be a store for all Americans. In celebration of Mother’s DAy, we’re proud that our May book honors women from diverse backgrounds who all share the heartwarming experience of motherhood.”