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Oprah Winfrey Recalls Racist Backlash After Helping Ellen Degeneres Reveal That She Was Gay

Ellen DeGeneres made the bold choice to come out on national television in the legendary 1997 “puppy episode” of ABC’s “Ellen,” which featured appearances from major stars like Oprah Winfrey, Laura Dern, Billy Bob Thornton, Demi Moore, Melissa Ehteridge and many more.

The episode and decision to come out blacklisted DeGeneres in Hollywood and negatively affected some of the guest stars as well. Winfrey, who played the therapist that helped Ellen realize she was gay in the episode, told The Hollywood Reporter, “I did it because she asked me to do it and I wanted to support her … It didn’t occur to me that there would be a backlash.”

Winfrey recalled receiving hateful phone calls and letters after the episode, which brought in 42 million viewers, hit airwaves. “I got all of the, ‘N—–, go back to Africa. Who do you think you are?'” Winfrey said, noting to THR that she’d never experienced such things before.

Have you ever gotten backlash from friends or family for having a gay friend?

Image via O Magazine




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