In the tail-end of her effective ABC sitcom Ellen’s fourth period, after months of conjecture and coming just months following the comedy legend showed up in the April 13 address of Time magazine emblazoned with all the terms “Yep, I’m Gay, ” the seminal episode that is two-part as “The Puppy Episode” aired, yanking DeGeneres’ character Ellen Morgan out from the cabinet along with her.
The very first time in tv history, an openly lesbian character—the lead, no less! —was being played by the openly lesbian actress. As well as on a community owned by Disney!
A Peabody Award and a GLAAD Media Award in 1998 for DeGeneres while the two-part episode was met with criticism and condemnation from the usual conservative suspects, it was much more widely celebrated, pulling in 42 million viewers (the highest in the show’s history), winning the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
The price tag on progress, however, became high. While ABC renewed Ellen for a season that is fifth it started airing a parental advisory caution before each episode. “It ended up being similar to this sound as you’re entering some sort of radiation center, ” DeGeneres told Entertainment Weekly, criticizing the community’s choice. “It had been really unpleasant, and you also don’t believe that will influence ranks? “
As expected, it did. Ellen had been canceled during the end of period five.
DeGeneres retreated to comedy that is stand-up where she’d gotten her begin, before trying a television comeback first in 2001 aided by the short-lived The Ellen Show, a CBS sitcom by which her character was freely lesbian through the movie movie stars, before landing her real renaissance given that host of long-running and beloved talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003.
Laura Dern, whom guest-starred when you look at the episode whilst the girl Ellen develops emotions big sufficient for in the future from the cabinet, admitted in 2007 on DeGeneres’ talk show that she encountered backlash over her look and don’t work with a year-and-a-half a while later.
“It had been significant because I became doing effective independent films, and, just months before that, I happened to be in Jurassic Park, probably the most effective film ever. Therefore it ended up being like, you are to be had this, you are on offer that — plus it simply stopped. That is types of crazy, ” Dern told Vulture in regards to the amount of time in 2019. “By chance for the path that is long of profession, you are able to look straight straight right back and state, exactly exactly how great to own it is experienced, just how backward our company is. “
Nonetheless, she described the part while the “greatest thing” and an “incredible honor. “
Talking about the occasion that is momentous her life in a 2008 meeting with TelevisionWeek, DeGeneres noted, “It had been a massive part of my entire life. I believe individuals sensed the sincerity on it. I believe it aided lots of people, whilst still being even today We learn about moms and dads and kids having the ability to have a truthful discussion through viewing that show. That is fundamentally exactly exactly what television may be: it may get conversations started. “
Honoring DeGeneres’ groundbreaking being released, go for a walk down the memory that is rainbow-colored with a appearance right back at all of the LGBTQ firsts on television before it and because that similarly got conversations were only available in homes across America.
1971: All into the family members
All within the Family made history that is LGBT it introduced the initial homosexual character in primetime in 1971, exposing that Archie Bunker’s club friend Steve had been gay. Later on into the show’s run, Archie found out Edith’s relative had been a lesbian who left her property to her partner.
ABC via Getty Images
1972: That Particular Summer
Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook and Hope Lange starred in this notable ABC television film of a divorced dad who may have discovered love having a more youthful guy and struggles with telling his teenager son about his new way life. The film is noted for depicting homosexuality in a sympathetic—read: normal—light.
Already off to their household, Lance Loud made history as he arrived on the scene towards the country of people associated with “first truth show, ” the documentary that used their family members.