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Ellen DeGeneres was warned that coming out on sitcom could 'ruin her career'

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Ellen DeGeneres celebrates TV success 25 years after coming out as a lesbian credit:Bang Showbiz
Ellen DeGeneres celebrates TV success 25 years after coming out as a lesbian credit:Bang Showbiz

Ellen DeGeneres was warned that coming out would "ruin" her career.

The 64-year-old star told the world she was a lesbian in 1997 with the 'Puppy Episode' of her self-titled sitcom and went on to appear on the cover of Time Magazine but was told at the time that announcing her sexuality to the world was the wrong move.

She said: "It is the 25th anniversary of my coming out episode on my sitcom. Spoiler alert - in case you didn't know, I had a sitcom! When I came out, people warned me that it was going to ruin my career. They were right for a while, for exactly three years I lost my career, but look at me now!"

'Ellen' was cancelled in 1997 following her coming out and another attempt at a sitcom was cancelled after just one season but the star bounced back in 2003 with the launch of her long-running ABC talk show 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show', which is set to come to an end this year after almost two decades on air.

As the multi-Emmy Award winning TV host - who has been married to actress Portia de Rossi since 2008 - marked the milestone, she urged fans to accept themselves and others as part of a humorous opening monologue but revealed that there was scepticism over her talk show when it first aired because of her sexuality.

Speaking on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show', she said: "It really goes to show how important it is to be yourself and how important it is to accept others as their authentic selves, too.

"It has been 25 years since my coming out and the only time I am in the closet now is when Portia and I play hide and seek. I think about the next 25 years and hope we keep evolving."

As her audience cheered, she concluded: "A lot of people thought this show wouldn't work because I'm gay, but you proved them wrong. You did!"

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