ELLEN COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET ON APRIL 30

GLAAD applauds ABC and Disney for history-making move

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

March 4, 1997
LOS ANGELES, MARCH 4, 1997- Following a successful nationwide campaign
organized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), ABC-TV
announced this week that Ellen DeGeneres' title character on her popular
sitcom Ellen will reveal that she is a lesbian.  The landmark "coming out"
episode is scheduled to air on the network on Wednesday, April 30, 1997,
during the show's original 9:30 PM timeslot.

According to GLAAD, this move by ABC will make television history.  Ellen
Morgan, the character played by DeGeneres, is the first-ever lesbian or gay
lead in an American television sitcom.  In the episode, Ellen Morgan finds
herself attracted to an old college chum's lesbian friend (played by Laura
Dern) and begins to explore her own sexual orientation. Oprah Winfrey will
guest star as Ellen's therapist who helps her understand her feelings and
to come out.

"After months of speculation, ABC, Disney and the producers of Ellen have
taken a decisive stand for programming that reflects the true America,
which includes lesbians and gay men," said GLAAD's Entertainment Media
Director Chastity Bono. "The public has voiced their desire to see Ellen
Morgan come out, and now we can finally celebrate this truly groundbreaking
event."

GLAAD maintains an "Ellen Watch" World Wide Web site at http://www.glaad.org.

GLAAD is the nation's lesbian and gay news bureau and the only national
lesbian and gay media watchdog organization. GLAAD promotes fair, accurate
and inclusive representation as a means of challenging discrimination based
on sexual orientation or identity.