Ellen buys TV time for No on 8
by Cynthia Laird
Out television talk show host Ellen DeGeneres finally put her money where her mouth is.
After weeks of criticism from the gay press and bloggers, DeGeneres has purchased $100,000 of television air time for the No on 8 campaign to run a message she taped urging California voters to defeat Proposition 8, which would eliminate same-sex marriage in California.
The announcement was made Friday morning by the No on 8 campaign. Spokesman Eddie Fernandez told the Bay Area Reporter that DeGeneres's initial ad buy was $100,000. He said that some minor work needed to be done to the video message DeGeneres released virally Tuesday, and then it would begin airing on TV. It is not immediately known in which media markets the ad would air. Fernandez characterized the legal work to be done as adding the disclaimer and other minor changes.
In the video message, DeGeneres says that she believes "in equality for all people. Proposition 8 does not. Please, please, vote no on Prop 8." She also mentions her own wedding; in August she married longtime partner Portia de Rossi.
The issue of DeGeneres donating funds to No on 8 has been a hot topic of conversation among LGBT reporters and bloggers, who have asked the No on 8 campaign repeatedly when the star would step up financially to help defeat Prop 8. Earlier this week, a college graduate student posted an open letter to DeGeneres on the Advocate's Web site, pleading with her to donate to No on 8.
In related news, IN LA reporter Karen Ocamb reported Friday that Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) told her that he is against Prop 8 during a fundraising event Thursday night in West Hollywood.
"I attended the Biden fundraiser in West Hollywood tonight and on the rope line I asked him if he would oppose Prop 8," Ocamb said in an e-mail. "He told me he went on Ellen's show today and did come out against the measure."
Ellen's show with Biden will air on Monday, Ocamb added.