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Ellen DeGeneres and her importance in the Gay Community - Essay Example

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Ellen DeGeneres and her importance in the Gay Community

It also tries to explore her importance in the GBLT history and understands the various persuasive techniques that she used in her struggle for gay rights. Ellen DeGeneres: An Introduction Ellen DeGeneres, who was born in 1958 in Louisiana has played an important role bringing issues related to LGBT rights to the forefront so that they get appropriate media and political attention. As a stand up comedian, DeGeneres made a large number of appearances on very popular TV shows such as, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Oprah Winfrey Show (Biography, n.d). This increased her popularity and very soon, she appeared in a sitcom, which was called Ellen (1997), where she used her character, Ellen to come out to the public. At the same time, she also publicly declared her homosexuality on the Oprah Winfrey show. Post her coming out in public, the show Ellen faced a lot of criticism because acknowledging homosexuality openly was not common in the United States during the late 1990s. In fact, DeGeneres is regarded as the first lead case of a show who acknowledged the fact that she was a lesbian on air (Biography, n.d). Because of that, some of the affiliates that were associated with the channel ABC on which Ellen aired, refused to air the particular episode of the show. Furthermore, some of the sponsors associated with the show also withdrew their support (Biography, n.d). After the main character came out as a homosexual, there were many episodes which followed the same track and continued that way until the season got over. Due to this, both the show and the channel received strong criticism. However, Ellen's performance was critically acclaimed and won her an Emmy award (Foley, 2007). In addition, it also received immense support from the gay community all across the United States. In spite of these, the show was canceled within a years time. In the meantime, DeGeneres had gained enough popularity and became a common face in both the television industry as well as the movie industry. Due to her popularity, she began her own show known as the 'The Ellen DeGeneres' show which ran over 10 seasons (Foley, B. (2007). Ellen DeGeneres. Wmagazine 36(3), 496–501. ). In addition, she also hosted the Academy Awards, became a judge on the popular show American Idol, acted in movies and wrote books. She is often considered to be one of the best role models for the LGBT community in the United States (Foley, B. (2007). Ellen DeGeneres. Wmagazine 36(3), 496–501. ). Role of Ellen DeGeneres in GBLT history, community, or social movements It is a given fact that involvement of celebrities and public figures with regards to social movement has an impact on resource mobilization and constructing a collective identity (Barber, 2012). The fact that the celebrity is in the public eye gives much more importance to the issues that they highlight and hence, deeply influence the causes that they join or start. This is because the involvement or participation of a celebrity results in attention from the mass media and increases participation from their supporters. Hence, the celebrities can provide a high level of visibility to any event or social cause that they participate in (Bird et al, 2011). Ellen DeGeneres also used her popularity and her status as a public figure to raise issues that were relevant and important to the LGBT community. During the 1990s, the homosexual community found it a big ...Show more
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Ellen DeGeneres and her importance in the Gay Community Ellen DeGeneres, who is popular for being a successful television host, actress as well as a comedian has a very important place in the gay community. DeGeneres began her career in the late 1980s by being a stand up comedian and soon reached new heights of popularity…
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