The most challenging moment of her career
It was in April exactly 20 years ago that Ellen officially and very publicly came out as gay on Time magazine.
With millions of loving fans, her own talk-variety show succeeding already for 14 years and a female celebrity partner whom she is very proud of – it’s hard to imagine a time when Ellen was scared of anything – especially of revealing who she really is.
But 20 years ago, the atmosphere was not as open and tolerant.
Coming out back then was a huge risk to her growing career, yet she chose to be brave – she chose not to be afraid of being honest with the world.
At the time, Ellen was the lead actress in her sitcom Ellen on ABC, a show in which the character she played eventually came out as gay.
On the episode in which her character revealed her inner truth, brands like J.C. Penny and Chrysler withdrew their ads from the episode, and Wendy’s withdrew their sponsorship altogether.
The loss of sponsorships led the next season to be cancelled.
Yet, Ellen regretted nothing.
Although her career declined for several years, she soon bounced back with playing the voice of Dory in Finding Nemo, and launched her own show the same year.
Today, she is one of the most influential people in the US, and her bravery has inspired others to come out without fear.