Celebs

Ellen's Oscar selfie earns $3 million for charities

March 4, 2014 at 2:33 PM ET

If you were one of the three million people who retweeted Ellen DeGeneres' star-studded Oscar-night selfie, pat yourself on the back. You've unwittingly made a donation to charity by doing so.

Oscar host DeGeneres crammed 10 A-list stars, plus herself and Lupita Nyong'o's brother Peter, into Sunday's photo, which has now been retweeted more than 3 million times, breaking President Barack Obama's old Twitter record for most-retweeted image.

Much was made of the fact that electronics company Samsung was an Academy Awards sponsor, and that DeGeneres was prominently using one of their phones for her selfie, thus giving the advertiser millions of dollars worth of priceless product placement. 

Some wondered if Samsung had directed and paid for the selfie to be taken, but on Tuesday, the company issued a statement denying that.

"While we were a sponsor of the Oscars and had an integration with ABC, we were delighted to see Ellen organically incorporate the device into the selfie moment that had everyone talking," the statement read. "A great surprise for everyone, she captured something that nobody expected."

The company went on to say it would be paying its free publicity forward.

"In honor of this epic moment and of course, the incredible response of nearly 3 million retweets, we wanted to make a donation to Ellen's charities of choice: St. Jude (Children's Research Hospital) and the Humane Society (of the United States)," the company said. "Samsung will donate $1.5 million to each charity."

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