HRC Blog

Success through Openness: The Ellen DeGeneres Show Enters 10th Season

With Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show entering its 10th season in September, The Hollywood Reporter chats with the comedian about the show’s enormous success, which few would have predicted after her career-shaking decision to come out in 1997.

Oprah Winfrey, who played Ellen’s therapist in the groundbreaking “puppy” episode of her then-sitcom, says Ellen’s openness has paved the way for her success:

Being able to be free -- literally -- and to express herself in a way that she can be 100 percent truthful with the audience has allowed them to fall in love with her. Honest-to-God truth: I don't believe she would have been as successful as she has become had she not come out.

Ellen’s mom Betty appeared in that episode and has remained an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community ever since. In 1997 she became the first non-gay spokesperson for HRC’s National Coming Out Day.

Read The Hollywood Reporter’s full feature here.

Photo via Alan Light/Wikimedia Commons

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