Ellen DeGeneres Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of “The Puppy Episode”

This week marks the 20-year anniversary of “The Puppy Episode,” the now-famous two-part episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ ABC sitcom where her character — and afterward, the real DeGeneres — decided to come out as gay publicly. To celebrate the occasion, today’s episode of DeGeneres’ talk show is dedicated to “The Puppy Episode,” and it’s a fascinating look at not only all the criticism, backlash, and even death threats DeGeneres received for the episode but how her bravery paved the way for gay equality and acceptance in the US on TV and beyond — something that was not at all common when the episode aired in 1997. “It was the hardest thing that I ever had to do in my life, and I would not change one moment of it, because it led me to be exactly where I am today standing in front of all of you, which is a joy,” DeGeneres says. “And the fact that all of you and everyone at home is watching me and willing to accept me into your homes every day when no one ever thought that would happen again — it means the world to me.”

Check out some more clips from the show featuring Oprah, Michelle Obama, and some of DeGeneres’ former castmates:




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