Ellen DeGeneres has revealed that her decision to come out was met with death threats—and even a bomb threat.
The 60-year-old comedian and lesbian icon revealed she was gay in April 1997, posing on the cover of Time magazine alongside the message: “Yep, I’m Gay.”
She received support from many, but speaking to Adweek, DeGeneres revealed that the backlash to her announcement included an incident in which she narrowly avoided mortal danger.
“When I came out, I had death threats and there was a bomb threat, but they misjudged the time of the taping,” she said.
“We had already finished, and thank God.”
The host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has run for nearly 2,500 episodes, said she was “blindsided” when her programme at the time, Ellen, was dropped by ABC after her character came out on the show.
“I knew there would be people that didn’t like it, but I didn’t realise my show would be cancelled,” said DeGeneres.
“I just thought: ‘It’s going to be interesting.’”
Earlier this year, on Netflix show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, she told host Jerry Seinfeld that coming out had a huge effect on her career.
“When I lost my sitcom, I didn’t work for three years solid until I got the talk show,” she.