“I can’t even say the word. Why can’t I say the word? I mean, why can’t I just say…? I mean, what is wrong? Why do I have to be so ashamed? I mean, why can’t I just say the truth? I mean, be who I am? I’m thirty-five years old, I’m so afraid to tell people…Susan, I’m gay.” – Ellen Morgan (@theellenshow) to Susan (@lauradern), “Ellen,” “The Puppy Episode,” April 30, 1997.
On April 30, 1997, twenty years ago today and two weeks after Ellen DeGeneres publicly acknowledged her sexuality, Ellen Morgan, lead character of ABC’s “Ellen,” came out.
After the first three seasons of “Ellen,” producers were frustrated with a lack of focus and Ellen’s lack of interest in the stereotypical sitcom relationship; one producer suggested Ellen just get a puppy to show the world that a relationship was not in the cards, hence “The Puppy Episode.”
During the fourth season, as word of the coming out episode spread, a backlash started; a bomb threat came, DeGeneres’ safety was threatened, sponsors (including J.C. Penney and Wendy’s) pulled out, affiliates refused to run the episode, and right-wing conservatives hurled anti-gay slurs (Reverend Jerry Falwell, for example, hurled the infamous “Ellen Degenerate,” to which DeGeneres responded, “I’ve been getting that since the fourth grade”).
And, even after “The Puppy Episode” drew forty-two million viewers and won two Emmys, a Peabody Award, and a GLAAD Media Award, ABC still prefaced each subsequent episode of "Ellen” with a parental advisory warning.
The show was canceled after its fifth season.
“It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far,” President Barack Obama said when awarding DeGeneres the Presidential Medal of Freedom, “just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out…What an incredible burden that was to bear. To risk your career like that. People don’t do that very often.”
There is no question that Ellen Morgan’s self-declaration marked a paradigm shift for queer representation in media. Never again would it be impossible to imagine a gay lead character, nor a supporting character that defied rigid stereotypes, in mainstream media. #lgbthistory #HavePrideInHistory #ThankYouEllen
The media, specifically news coverage, shows us and keeps us informed on what is happening in the world. There are many types of news: newspapers, magazines, TV channels… but at what point does news coverage actually become entertainment? And how do news channels MARKET their news for the consumer? It’s time to re-think what we’ve always seen.
NALIP ANNOUNCES DISNEY|ABC TELEVISION GROUP MEDIA SUMMIT PANEL
Disney|ABC Television Group will be producing a panel for the 2017 NALIP Media Summit! The panel, titled Latinos in TV Animation, will be held on Friday, June 23.
Disney|ABC Television Group will bring together top Latino writers, producers and artists from across Disney Television Animation to speak at the Media Summit. Speakers will discuss the variety of career opportunities in television animation and the process of creating an animated series! We hope the discussion will give attendees great insight to the industry and allow them to see what contributes to Disney’s success as being one of the leading studios across the globe.
Since you just made a post about sexism and women on lost, what was your take on Juliet?
Anon prepare for a long rant because Juliet deserved better and I’m very salty about it!!!
My issue with Juliet is the same with most women in tv: they ignored more interesting sides of her story for the sake of giving her male romantic attention (same with Kate).
She is very interesting considering she is the only one of the others who has changed alliances. I think they did a good job showing us her story and her arc but the romantic sub-plot with Jack was forced and unecessary. They just wanted to complicate even more the already annoying Jack-Kate-Sawyer triangle. And sometimes I think the writers just didn’t know how to make a story about a girl without giving her a boyfriend. They also wanted to make Ana Lucía another love interest for Jack when they first introduced her and the only reason for not to was that the audience despised her. Is like everytime they introduced a female main character they needed to measure how she worked as a romantic match for the main male.
The only thing worse than the Jack x Juliet subplot was the Ben x Juliet one. Ben was acting totally out of character. He is emotionally detached, cold and a amazing tactical thinker. And suddenly he’s taking decissions that affect his people and the island because of the power of boners? Ben would never do that. He even neglected his own daughter who he loves most in the world for the sake of the island. He would never let his feelings for Juliet affect his decissions. I can buy that Jack would defend Juliet from his own people when it was obvious she was a spy because Jack is way more emotional than Ben and has worse judgement. In other words, it is believable that Jack would think with is dick but not Ben.
They only added “Ben has a crush on Juliet” to have that dramatic moment in which Juliet warns Jack about how Ben would hurt him because he knows how “she feels about Jack”. The writers were really thinking on making Ben and Jack fight over Juliet and this convo was the set up for that storyline that thank God was discarded. I guess they tought it would add tension that the leaders of opposed factions were interested in the same woman, which is a cheap cliché and devalues Juliet to a trophy to win.
Another problem with the Ben x Juliet pairing is that in that convo with Jack (before they kiss) Juliet appears to be defeated and have accepted that she can’t escape from Ben. That’s out of character and disregards all we know about Juliet’s personality. We see that in the 3 years in the island she has become incredibily strong and confident. A woman like Juliet would never accept Ben’s claim of “You are mine”. They made Juliet act out of character to give Jack another princess to save.
I got heated writing this but I’m actually happy with how they wrote Juliet. They threw away those storylines I complained about and I think they did her justice in season 4 and 5. In my opinion her death detonating the bomb was heroic and I like that.
By the way, even though I summed up in the previous post I’m even more salty about Kate because she’s my favorite character and I think they did her dirty. Pretty much because of the same reasons as Juliet.