“I knew there would be people that didn’t like it, but I didn’t realize my show would be canceled.”
American comedian Ellen DeGeneres faced multiple death threats when she came out as gay.
In an interview with Adweek, the talk show host revealed: “When I came out, I had death threats and there was a bomb threat, but they misjudged the time of the taping. We had already finished, and thank God.
“I knew there would be people that didn’t like it, but I didn’t realize my show would be canceled. I just thought, ‘It’s going to be interesting.’
“We’re living in a time now, the more controversial something is, the more popular it is. I just didn’t happen to have a show on at that time.”
Ellen came out as gay during the fourth season of her self-titled sitcom, which ran from 1994-1998.
The episode in which she came out, The Puppy Episode, was a massive success in the ratings (42 million viewers) and garnered an enormous amount of publicity.
After the episode aired, the show was renewed for one more season but was subsequently cancelled for being “too gay”.
The careers of Ellen and guest star Laura Dern (who played her love interest on the show) suffered after, with the latter claiming in 2007 that she didn’t receive work for a year and a half.
Well fuck the homophobes right? Ellen won in the end, with 30 Emmy Awards to her name and 20 People’s Choice Awards (the most of any entertainer ever), and has hosted the Oscars, Grammys and Primetime Emmys.
Since then, Laura has also been nominated for another Oscar, and has won three Golden Globes and an Emmy for her critically-acclaimed work on Big Little Lies.