“Ellen” Wins Emmy for Coming Out Episode

“Ellen”, the show that inspired controversy when the main character “came out” as a lesbian, has won an Emmy for the writing of the coming-out episode.

When accepting the award for comedy writing, Ellen DeGeneres, the lesbian actress who plays the show’s lead, Ellen Morgan, dedicated the award to gay and lesbian teenagers, telling them “There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t even let anybody make you feel ashamed of who you are.”

Helen Hunt, who won best actress in a comedy series for “Mad About You,” said she was “blown away” by DeGeneres’ work in that episode, and was proud to be nominated along with her and other women.

Backstage, DeGeneres spoke seriously and lightly about her award and the larger issue of lesbians and gay men in television. “I always felt like an outsider,” she said about recognized by her peers. “I never felt like part of the club.” Hoping that her show will help people see that gay people are OK, she joked that “growing up, I didn’t have that, gay characters. Well, Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda were lovers, but they didn’t talk about it.”


AP - September 15, 1997

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