Ellen DeGeneres is now a famous and beloved icon of the LGBT community and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. As a result, it’s hard to think that there was a period during which she was a pariah. But when Ellen first came out as gay in 1997, the world of American entertainment was a very different place. Many comments were made about her at the time, in fact – and one in particular hurt terribly.
Both Ellen’s career and her mental health were adversely affected by that public statement about her sexuality. In fact, ABC even issued a warning to parents before her show, which would only last for one more season following the announcement. All in all, it was an incredibly distressing period for the star.
Ellen has since bounced back, of course. She’s seemingly content in her marriage to Portia de Rossi, and her talk show is a massive success to boot. Yet while those who watch Ellen on TV will know that her motto is “Be kind to one another,” there was a time when people weren’t nice to her at all. And the one cutting remark she appears to remember the most came from another gay icon: Elton John.