Kim Ficera, talking about how it is irrelevant whether Ellen DeGeneres is contractually prevented from visibly being a lesbian or mentioning anything about lesbianism, or whether Ellen is self-willing her lesbian-silence - either way it makes Ficera want to switch to an alternative viewing network and watch out-and-loud Rosie O'Donnell:
Source: Kim Ficera
Ellen DeGeneres might be out and proud (although not as publicly proud as she once was) but Rosie O'Donnell is out and loud. Many lesbians will tune in to The View just to see what gay outburst Rosie will make next. Likewise, people who don't like lesbians will tune in for the same reason. That's surely something Walters thought about when she asked O'Donnell to join the show.
Conversely, no one -- not even the biggest lesbian in the world, wherever she might be -- tunes into Ellen's show to watch her discuss lesbian issues, because she never talks about lesbian issues. And that's fine. I understand completely why Ellen might not want to discuss her personal life and politics in depth on the show. I just wish she would mention being a lesbian in passing now and then, in the same way she mentions that she's got a new dog or, you know, in the same way that Oprah mentions her "best friend" Gayle.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Perhaps in the beginning it made sense to ease Ellen The Lesbian into daytime TV by focusing on Ellen The Jester and avoiding the lesbian aspects of her life. But in the few short years that Ellen's been on the air, the world has changed, and the media has changed right along with it. Barbara Walters can't be the only TV exec to see that lesbians, like short people, are people too. We not only watch TV, but we are now what people watch on TV. And I don't hear a lot of complaining, except from the usual suspects.
I doubt Ellen hears much whining either. I suspect she gets emails like I do -- letters from so-called straight, stay-at-home moms who are happy to confess in intimate detail that they aren't so straight and stay-at-home as many would like to believe.
So, the most obvious questions are, whose decision is it to avoid all-things-lesbian on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen's or ABC's; and will anyone at Ellen's show rethink their strategy now that Rosie's re-entered the daytime arena?
The most likely queer-party pooper is NBC. As Karman Kregloe reported in her review of the Emmys right here on afterellen, "According to Los Angeles Times awards website, The Envelope, NBC is rumored to discourage DeGeneres from mentioning de Rossi on her talk show."
An interesting tidbit, and not at all hard to believe if you've seen the show, but is it true? And if it is true, how exactly does NBC "discourage" Ellen. Is she under a contractual obligation to pretend she's asexual for one hour a day, or have execs simply threatened to stop waving to her in the halls?
Plus, why discourage Ellen at all? It's clear that she's found her niche and is happy there. I doubt NBC has to fear that she'll one day take the stage and say, "Next up, fire-eating Lesbian Avengers!"
Source: Kim Ficera