Ellen DeGeneres is now a famous and beloved icon of the LGBT community and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. As a result, it’s hard to think that there was a period during which she was a pariah. But when Ellen first came out as gay in 1997, the world of American entertainment was a very different place. Many comments were made about her at the time, in fact – and one in particular hurt terribly.
Both Ellen’s career and her mental health were adversely affected by that public statement about her sexuality. In fact, ABC even issued a warning to parents before her show, which would only last for one more season following the announcement. All in all, it was an incredibly distressing period for the star.