Ellen DeGeneres and Tim Gunn have more in common than being popular television personalities with short hair. The two were just honored by PETA who named them 2009’s Woman of the Year and Man of the Year.
“Tim Gunn and Ellen DeGeneres show us that one person really can make a difference in the world by rejecting cruel deeds in favor of compassionate acts,” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk said in a statement released on Wednesday. “Their message that animals must be treated kindly and respectfully has reached scores of people, and many of them have changed their buying habits, all because Gunn and DeGeneres spoke up for the voiceless.”
As for Ellen’s contributions to the cause? PETA noted she is a vegan and has gone so far as to promote the lifestyle choice by inviting vegan experts like Jonathan Safran Foer and Dr. Neal Barnard on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
And on Wednesday afternoon, she Tweeted that she was thrilled over the honor.
“I’m honored PETA named me ‘Person of The Year’. I thank them for protecting animals every single day. Amazing,” she wrote.
As for fashion guru Tim, PETA complimented the spectacled “Project Runway” adviser for being the creative director at Liz Claiborne, which is fur-free. Additionally, he was praised for narrating PETA’s “Fashion Victims” video, which looks at the extreme practices some go to in the fur and reptile skin trade.
PETA also praised the Lifetime star for launching a program when he was at Parsons to allow the organization to come in and give presentations to design students about how animals are abused and killed for their fur.
PETA plans to present Ellen and Tim with award plaques and a letter of appreciation. Oprah Winfrey was previously honored as PETA’s Woman of the Year in 2008.