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The commercial itself is hardly controversial. Comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, wearing holiday-themed gloves and hat, sits at a diner table with three of Santa's elves. She asks them to make more toys for a JC Penney contest, and ends up accidentally insulting the tiny little helpers with a bunch of clumsy short jokes.
"I know this is no small feat," DeGeneres says as the elves grimace at what they take as a height reference. "Well, it's a big deal." Finally, she changes the subject entirely: "Who wants a cookie?"
But the appearance of DeGeneres, a lesbian, is controversial indeed to those belonging to One Million Moms. The group posted this update Tuesday on its website:
"Since April, JC Penney's has not aired Ellen DeGeneres in one of their commercials until now. A new JCP ad features Ellen and three elves. JCP has made their choice to offend a huge majority of their customers again. Christians must now vote with their wallets."
The mention of the DeGeneres ad appeared on the group's website after a warning about the Victoria's Secret fashion show and before one about Urban Outfitters selling sweaters with an expletive on them.
Viewers of the ad on YouTube were puzzled by the group's objection.
"THIS IS SO OFFENSIVE -- Said nobody with a brain ever," wrote one viewer.
Wrote another, "There is nothing wrong with this. 'one million moms' (40,000 to be exact, lol) needs to relax, worry about raising their kids and not spending time & energy on hating a '30 second' holiday clip of elves and Ellen at a diner. Really?"
Back in February, One Million Moms, which is a project of the American Family Association, asked shoppers to call JC Penney and ask that the company replace DeGeneres as a spokeswoman.