“The Ellen DeGeneres Show
”: Warner Bros.
It’s been 20 years since Ellen DeGeneres
came out as a lesbian — on her ABC sitcom “Ellen” and in real life — and the Emmy-winning talk show host wants to celebrate. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Medal of Freedom recipient is organizing an hourlong commemoration of “The Puppy Episode,” the landmark two-part ep that featured the main character’s realization that she is gay.
It was an instance of art mimicking life, as the “The Puppy Episode” coincided with DeGeneres’ own coming out via Time magazine. The cover read, next to DeGeneres’ wide grin, “Yep, I’m Gay.”
“Ellen” co-stars Joely Fisher
, Clea Lewis
, and David Anthony Higgins
will appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show
” April 28 to honor “The Puppy Episode,” which aired April 30, 1997. Oprah Winfrey
and Laura Dern
(“Big Little Lies
”), who portrayed the lesbian woman who inspired Ellen to come out, will also be there.
THR notes that this is the first “Ellen” cast reunion since the show ended in 1998, and “the tribute will also feature messages from celebrities and real-life stories of how the episode impacted fans, viewers, and the Lgbt community.”
“The Puppy Episode” helped “usher in a more inclusive era of television,” the source writes. Since then, Lgbtq characters have continuously appeared in larger numbers on television series. Lesbians in particular are well-represented on shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer
,” “The Wire,” “Orange Is the New Black
,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Pretty Little Liars
,” “Orphan Black
,” and “Jessica Jones
,” to name just a few.
When DeGeneres confirmed both her and her character’s sexual orientation to Time, she observed, “I don’t think I could have done this a long time ago, and I don’t think people would have accepted it as readily as they do now. Now I feel comfortable with myself, and I don’t have to be fearful about something damaging my career if it gets out, because now I’m in control of it — sort of. No one can hurt me now.”Ellen DeGeneres
to Celebrate 20th Anniversary of Lgbt Landmark “The Puppy Episode” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.