Ellen DeGeneres made the surprising revelation that the one word she was warned not to say on the air as she was preparing to debut her daytime talk show was “we.”
“I remember there was something that happened to my finger, and I was in a relationship and I was going to say ‘we,’ and they wouldn’t let me say ‘we’ because somebody would all of a sudden picture a woman in my life,” DeGeneres told Ryan Seacrest this week on iHeartRadio.
The Huffington Post reports that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is celebrating its 15th season, but getting it launched back in 2003 presented its share of obstacles.
“Long after Ellen DeGeneres came out as gay in 1997, Hollywood still wasn’t sure about how audiences would respond to her sexuality,” the HuffPost reports.
The report quotes DeGeneres telling Seacrest: “This was a show that nobody wanted to buy. They really didn’t think anyone would watch a lesbian during the day and, at the time, no one wanted to see a lesbian at night either. So I was really out of options.”
The report adds: “DeGeneres — who dated actress Anne Heche and photographer Alexandra Hedison before her romance with now-wife Portia de Rossi — was told not to discuss her personal life.”
This was well after DeGeneres famously came out ahead of her character’s coming out on her ABC sitcom, “Ellen,” on “The Puppy Episode” in April 1997. She later also had a short-lived CBS sitcom before launching her talk show.