Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t allowed to say ‘gay’ on her own TV show

Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t allowed to say ‘gay’ on her own TV show

Ellen DeGeneres wrapped up 19 seasons of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in a teary finale, highlighting the importance of being your “authentic self”.

Ellen DeGeneres said goodbye to her long-running talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and in a teary-eyed monologue, the comedian and TV host explained what it was like being openly gay on TV 20 years ago.

After visiting with guests Jennifer Aniston, Billie Eilish and Pink, DeGeneres got serious with the audience saying: “If someone is brave enough to tell you who they are, be brave enough to support them even if you don’t understand,”

Holding back tears she went on: “They are showing you who they are and that’s the biggest gift anybody can ever give you. By opening your heart and your mind, you are going to be that much more compassionate. Compassion is what makes the world a better place.”

The final episode was filmed before a live audience as per usual only this time the crowd included Ellen’s wife Portia de Rossi and several family members.

“Welcome to our very last show. I walked out here 19 years ago and I said this is the start of a relationship. And today is not the end of a relationship, it’s more of a little break,” Ellen said.

“You can see other talk shows now. I may see another audience once in a while. Twenty years ago when we tried to sell this show no one thought this would work, not because it was a different kind of show. It was because I was different. Very few stations wanted to buy the show and here we are 20 years later, celebrating this amazing journey together.”

A lot can happen in 20 years and Ellen’s story is an ode to just how much has happened. It seems ridiculous now to link that a person could be so openly scrutinised, in Hollywood of all places, for being gay.

“When we started this show I couldn’t say ‘gay’ on the show.” Ellen said.

“I was not allowed to say ‘gay.’ I said it at home a lot. ‘What are we having for our gay breakfast?’ Or ‘pass the gay salt.’ [Or] ‘Has anyone seen the gay remote?’ — things like that,”

“I couldn’t say we, because that implied that I was with someone. Sure couldn’t say wife, that’s because it wasn’t legal for gay people to get married. And now I say wife all the time. Twenty five years ago they canceled my sitcom because they didn’t want a lesbian to be in primetime once a week. So I said ‘Ok, I’ll be in daytime every day, how ’bout that?’”

“What a beautiful, beautiful journey that we have been together,” She continued.

“If this show has made you smile, if it has lifted you up when you’re in a period of some type of pain, some type of sadness, anything you are going through, then I have done my job. Because of this platform we have been able to change people’s lives. This show has forever changed my life. It is the greatest experience I have ever had, beyond my wildest imagination.”

What a beautiful journey indeed… I’m not crying, you’re crying!