Ellen DeGeneres was asked about coming out in both real life and on her ABC sitcom, Ellen, during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert (via People). Crouching down on the cover of TIME magazine and declaring, “Yep, I’m Gay” while her character Ellen Morgan came out as a lesbian to Laura Dern didn’t exactly work for everyone, like Elton John. One would have thought that always cheery Elton John would have been waiting on the other side of that coming out announcement with pink champagne and balloons, but according to Ellen, that’s not at all what happened.
“They finally let me come out, and it was a huge success the night of. It was huge. It was celebrated…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.’ I got no more advertising, I got no more promotion. So they canceled it.”
During that time, everyone was talking about Ellen coming out. Ellen thinks people got sick of talking about how gay Ellen was, and some people – like Sir Elton John – let her know.
“I had only done the cover of Time magazine, a primetime special with Diane Sawyer and Oprah – those were the only three places I talked – but people were reporting on reports and reports and reports. 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?'”
Obviously Ellen is better off now, what with being the (allegedly) iron-fisted ruler of her own daytime television show that has made her a gazillionaire sixteen times over. I’m an Elton fan through and through, so it hurts me to go back in time 20 years and ask him to sit down with that whole “Be gay by my rules” attitude. But I can’t disagree with him telling Ellen to shut up and be funny, because that’s pretty much what I hiss whenever Ellen announces she’s booked yet another Kardashian or Jenner on the show.