Ellen DeGeneres Opens Up About Hardships Of Coming Out: ‘I Had Death Threats And There Was A Bomb Threat’

Ellen DeGeneres accepts a People's Choice Award.
Christopher Polk / Getty Images

It wasn’t easy for Ellen DeGeneres to tell the world that she was gay, and she will be the first one to express that.

Just last week, the talk show host celebrated National Coming Out Day with a photo of herself and her wife, Portia de Rossi. As the Inquisitr reported, DeGeneres took to her highly-followed Instagram account to share a sweet photo of herself and Portia holding hands and sharing a kiss. The photo received a ton of attention from her fans, with many applauding her for being so brave for coming out.

But when she first came out with news she was gay, Ellen faced a lot of backlash. This week, the 60-year-old opened up to Ad Week about making the decision to come out 21 years ago. In 1997, DeGeneres had her character on her hit sitcom Ellen come out just before she appeared on the cover of Time, announcing that she too was gay. And at first, she received a ton of flak for it.

“When I came out, I had death threats and there was a bomb threat, but they misjudged the time of the taping. We had already finished, and thank God.”

To make matters even worse, ABC ended up canceling Ellen’s show the next year, something that totally blindsided her. DeGeneres said that she definitely knew that there were people who didn’t like her show, but she had absolutely no idea that it would be canceled.

“The last season we did was a great season, and unfortunately nobody saw it because it was not advertised. It was purposely not advertised by ABC and Disney because they just wanted to hold their hands up to advertisers and say we’re not promoting it, we’re not doing this,” the Ellen host explained. “And I get it. It’s a business, and I understand that. And so everybody had their reasons, and unfortunately I was just blindsided.”

But even with all of the backlash that she received at the time, as well as her show being canceled, DeGeneres says that she has absolutely no regrets about the way that she came out so publicly. Ellen told Ad Week that coming out was the toughest thing that she had to do, but if she didn’t do it the way that she did, then she wouldn’t be where she is in her career today.

In addition, Ellen knows that her coming out started a conversation and helped a lot of other people to come out as well. But on social media, DeGeneres claims that she tries to ignore all of the negativity, which is something that unfortunately also makes her not see some of the positive things.

But one thing is for sure: Ellen is a trailblazer.