UPDATE: In a blog post, The Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle said that the $1.5 million donation will be divided amongst three of its programs: Pets for Life, its Shelter Pet Project, and its Animal Rescue Team. “[Ellen DeGeneres is] the leading celebrity voice for animal protection in our nation, and we are so lucky to have her on our side,” wrote Pacelle.
According to Pacelle, the timing was perfect, since The HSUS is preparing for its 60th Anniversary gala event, which will take place March 29th in Los Angeles. As such, it looks like Pacelle might be thinking of taking a selfie of his own. “Bradley [Cooper], can you help me, like you helped Ellen,” asked Pacelle.
Say what you will about Samsung and the marketing it garnered from DeGeneres’ Oscars group selfie — you can’t take away the fact that these donations will have quite the positive effect on these organizations.
Thanks, Heather Sullivan!
ORIGINAL STORY: By its own right, the Oscars is a big show. There’s no doubt about that. What might have slightly overshadowed the show itself though, was Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie taken with several members of Hollywood’s elite, which has been retweeted over 3 million times. That easily crushed the previous record holder, which was Barack Obama’s “victory” tweet after the 2012 presidential election.
Unfortunately, there is brewing controversy surrounding the tweet, with media outlets wondering whether this was a paid stunt by Samsung to promote its products. DeGeneres did use a Galaxy Note 3 to take the selfie, and Samsung was a sponsor of the Oscars. In a statement sent to TechCrunch, however, a Samsung spokesperson denied the allegation and honored the retweets by making donations to charities.
Even though Samsung was a sponsor of the Oscars, with the company having “an integration with ABC,” Samsung denies that it paid DeGeneres to take the selfie. According to the Korean company, DeGeneres decided to “organically incorporate the device into the selfie moment that had everyone talking.”
Because of the number of times DeGeneres’ selfie was retweeted, Samsung decided to mirror the number by donating $3 million to charities. A lump sum of $1.5 million will each go to two charities of DeGeneres’ choosing: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and The Humane Society of the United States.
Unfortunately, neither Samsung or DeGeneres commented on whether that group selfie spread some lice around. Even so, the timing of all of this was beyond perfect.