In the tail-end of her effective ABC sitcom Ellen’s 4th period, after months of speculation and coming just days following the comedy legend appeared in the April 13 address of the time magazine emblazoned with all the words “Yep, i am Gay, ” the seminal two-part episode understood as “The Puppy Episode” aired, yanking DeGeneres’ character Ellen Morgan out from the cabinet along with her.
The very first time in tv history, an openly lesbian character—the lead, no less! —was being played by an openly lesbian actress. As well as on a system owned by Disney!
A Peabody Award and a GLAAD Media Award in 1998 for DeGeneres while the two-part episode was met with criticism and condemnation from the usual conservative suspects, it was much more widely celebrated, pulling in 42 million viewers (the highest in the show’s history), winning the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
The cost of progress, however, turned out to be high. While ABC renewed Ellen for the 5th period, it began airing a parental advisory caution before every episode. “It had been such as this vocals as you’re entering some type of radiation center, ” DeGeneres told Entertainment Weekly, criticizing the community’s choice. “It had been extremely unpleasant, and also you do not think that will impact ranks? “