Ellen DeGeneres Reflects On Coming Out Over 20 Years Ago

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(Edge): It's been over 20 years since Ellen DeGeneres's iconic coming out moment on her "Ellen" TV sitcom. The talk show host is now reflecting on the media attention and the hate she received at the time in a new interview with AdWeek.


"When I came out, I had death threats and there was a bomb threat, but they misjudged the time of the taping," she told the publication. "We had already finished, and thank God."

DeGeneres came out during Season 4 of her show in 1997. Even though the episode earned huge ratings, and won an Emmy, it was canceled one season later.

"We're living in a time now, the more controversial something is the more popular it is," she told AdWeek. "I just didn't happen to have a show on at that time. The last season we did was a great season, and unfortunately nobody saw it because it was not advertised. 

"It was purposely not advertised by ABC and Disney because they just wanted to hold their hands up to advertisers and say we're not promoting it, we're not doing this," the comedian added. "And I get it. It's a business, and I understand that. And so everybody had their reasons, and unfortunately I was just blindsided."

Even though her coming out was met with a backlash and impacted her career, DeGeneres says she still refuses to back down from taking on hot-button issues. 

"I hope people understand it's not even a political thing," she said. "It's just about what kind of character the person has. I demand if somebody is stepping over the line [for them to be] a decent, honest human being."

DeGeneres added: "All I want to do is be the best person that I can be for me in my life, and that's all I try to do. If it impacts people in a positive way, then I'm thrilled. I was somebody that, yes, turned into a brand, but the brand is positivity, the brand is love, which is why I have love on everything that I make. And it's the time in our life when we need it more than ever."


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