This old clip of Ellen DeGeneres shutting down a homophobic woman has gone viral for an important reason
Everyone knows Ellen DeGeneres. While many know her now as the host of one of the biggest talk shows on television, it's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her illustrious career. Before The Ellen DeGeneres Show began in 2003, she had a successful career in stand-up comedy and, most notably, her own sitcom.
'Ellen' ran from 1994 to 1998 and was extremely popular, but its most significant impact is that it featured the first openly lesbian actress to play a lesbian character on television. During this same season of the show, DeGeneres appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she came out herself.
Clearly, 2018 doesn't present a world that is completely safe and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community, but things were a lot harder in this period. Two decades ago, Ellen faced a serious backlash from many people who believed that her sexuality made her immoral, or simply didn't want to hear about it at all.
After the episode of Ellen in which the character came out, the series experienced falling ratings after the network cut back on promoting the show. Many believed that ABC, and its parent company Disney, had become uncomfortable with the subject matter. In 1998, Ellen was cancelled.
However, While this was undoubtedly a difficult process, coming out to a world that was far more hostile to gay women than today, DeGeneres soon returned to television with a new CBS sitcom and eventually her own talk show. Now an iconic figure in American culture, she has the respect of far more people, but things weren't always this way.
One clip of a 1997 episode of The Oprah Winfrey, in which Ellen talked about her sexuality and how it has affected her life, has now gone viral. Reading, "never forget that time ellen came for this homophobic woman on oprah," this two-minute video of Oprah's response has now received over 20,000 retweets and nearly 100,000 likes, and for good reason.
The criticism that Ellen is faced with is something that is still, unfortunately, said today by some. Questioning why she has to explain to her son that some people out there aren't heterosexual, the mother lambastes the comedian and the media for 'forcing it down our throats'. Ellen, of course, isn't taking any of it - and has a brilliant response to completely shut her down:
The relentless public shaming DeGeneres went through was hard enough, but she also had to deal with less mean-spirited ignorance too.
However, rather than getting enraged or throwing insults around, she managed to patiently explain herself in a clear and calm way without escalating the argument.
This also led to Twitter users discussing the issue further, with some noting that parents trying to shelter their children from the parts of the world that make them uncomfortable doesn't achieve anything.
Thankfully, Ellen has now built a successful career, using her platform to help the world understand the struggles that the LGBTQ community face.