Samsung To Donate $3M To Charities Chosen By Ellen, Says It Was Included “Organically” In Her Oscar Selfie

So … what was the deal with Ellen DeGeneres’ already-famous, celebrity-packed selfie at the Oscars? Why did she use what appeared to be a Samsung Galaxy Note to take the photo?

I mean, nothing against the Galaxy Note, but there’s been some debate about whether DeGeneres, who was hosting the ceremony, got paid by Samsung to use the phone. Well, a Samsung spokesperson just sent me a statement suggesting that wasn’t the case.

Yes, Samsung was a sponsor at the Oscars, and apparently there was “an integration with ABC” (the network that broadcast the ceremony), but the company said it was DeGeneres who chose to “organically incorporate the device into the selfie moment that had everyone talking.”

Samsung also says that it’s happy enough about the results that it will be donating $1.5 million each (so $3 million total) to two charities chosen by DeGeneres — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Humane Society of the United States.

Here’s the full statement:

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. A great surprise for everyone, she captured something that nobody expected. In honor of this epic moment and of course, the incredible response of nearly 3 million re tweets, we wanted to make a donation to Ellen’s charities of choice: St Jude’s and the Humane Society. Samsung will donate 1.5 million dollars to each charity.

[image via The Ellen Show, naturally]