Ellen DeGeneres still remembers Elton John’s hurtful comments about her after she came out
Ellen DeGeneres has revealed that she still remembers being “hurt” by Elton John’s remarks about her following her public coming out.
She then appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Diane Sawyer, before memorably coming out on her sitcom, Ellen, in an episode watched by more than 40 million people.
But while speaking to actor Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast, the lesbian icon said that not long after the Puppy Episode aired, she found herself struggling.
“It was huge. It was celebrated, it was 45 million people that watched – and then they just stopped promoting it, because everybody was scared.
“We were losing sponsors, so they were just acting like: ‘We’re just letting it glide. We’re not going to touch it.’
“So I got no more advertising, I got no more promotion. So they canceled it.”
And she said that at the time, “everyone was just sick of it.”
This even included famous pop stars, it seems.
She told Dax: “Even Elton John said: ‘Shut up already. We know you’re gay. Be funny.’
“I had never met him and I thought, ‘What kind of support is that from a gay person?’”
“But everybody assumed I was just non-stop talking about,” Ellen added.
“It hurt my feelings. I was getting jokes made at my expense on every late-night show, people were making fun of me – so I was really depressed.
“And because of that, and because the show was cancelled, I was looked at as a failure in this business. So no-one would touch me.”
Ellen also revealed on the podcast that she lost her girlfriend when she was young.
“My girlfriend was killed in a car accident when I was 20 years old,” she said.
“I wasn’t doing comedy, I think I was probably waitressing some place at the time I was living with her,” she told Dax.
Ellen went on to explain that after her girlfriend was killed, she could no longer afford to live in the apartment they shared together.
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“I moved into this tiny basement apartment,” she said.
“I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor that was infested with fleas [and] thought: ‘Why is this beautiful, 20-year-old girl gone and fleas are here?’”
Despite the tragic nature of the accident, her girlfriend’s death led to Ellen’s career in stand-up comedy.
She was writing poetry and songs at the time, but decided to turn to comedy for solace.