Through the years, celebrities like the Kardashians have been making a huge impact on people, especially on what we, as individuals wear, buy, and even eat. But many other celebrities including Oprah, Barbra Streisand, Chance the Rapper, and Ellen DeGeneres are very notable for using their platform and money to help others in need. Ellen is probably one of the most distinguished celebrities who use their platform to make a difference in the world.
Ellen is famous for her hit show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Millions of people watch Ellen on a weekly basis on her talk show. She was also part of the hit children’s movie, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory and her new show, Ellen’s Game of Games. Throughout it all, Ellen doesn’t impact people on what they eat or wear, she impacts the people of everyday life through laughter and kindness.
Ellen DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958, in Metairie Louisiana close to New Orleans. (Biography.com Editors) Her mother is Betty DeGeneres and her father is Elliott DeGeneres. (Hopwood) She has a brother named Vance DeGeneres who is currently a comedian and actor. Growing up, Vance was always the comedian in the family. Ellen grew up in New Orleans typically exploring uptown of the city on her bicycle. (Scott) “You know, people can grow up in New Orleans without realizing how unique a city it is. I remember thinking that it was a really neat place,” Ellen said on the New Orleans Magazine.
Ellen’s parents divorced when Ellen was thirteen. Her mother was heartbroken and was filled with sorrow through the divorce. She tried to make her mother feel better by using the works of comedy which worked well. ‘My mother was going through some really hard times and I could see when she was really getting down, and I would start to make fun of her dancing. Then she’d start to laugh and I’d make fun of her laughing.
And she’d laugh so hard she’d start to cry, and then I’d make fun of that. So I would totally bring her from where I’d seen her start going into depression to all the way out of it,” Ellen remembered on the New Orleans Magazine. This was when her comedic self came out into the world and how she realized that she can use this humor to make people feel better about themselves.
As Ellen became older, she started out as wanting to be a veterinarian but, realized that she wasn’t “book smart.” Ellen was never the comedic one because her brother had that job in the household. She took on multiple jobs as a waitress, a painter, a legal secretary, and sold vacuum cleaners. (Biography.com Editors) One day she went to a speaking event and had a case of stage fright. To get through the fear within her, she used her humor and comedic ways to the audience.
The audience loved her performance which got her many gigs to do stand up comedy. She started doing stand up at a local coffee shop. She started touring as a comedian across America. Ellen was awarded the Funniest Person in America on Showtime. (Hopwood) After that, she became more popular after many appearances on talk shows like the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show. (Biography.com Editors) These appearances lead up to Ellen having her own show, which changed the LGBT community.
Ellen landed a huge role in playing the lead character, Ellen Morgan in the show Ellen on the network ABC. The TV show was watched and loved by millions and lasted for 5 seasons. The revolutionary “Puppy Episode” that aired in 1997 changed not only the entire TV series but, the entire nation. The episode was groundbreaking because the character, Ellen Morgan as well as Ellen herself revealed herself being gay.
“I decided this was not going to be something that I was going to live the rest of my life being ashamed of,” Ellen told Diane Sawyer. Ellen felt stuck in the closet because of what people would think of her being lesbian. But, she didn’t want others to think she was embarrassed about her sexuality. Since the LGBTQ community wasn’t widely accepted in the late 1990s, Ellen received a lot of backlash, through death threats, hate mail, and even a bomb scare. (Kirst) But, she also influenced many people who were afraid of coming out with their sexuality.
Many people sent thank you letters and she made a positive impact on the LGBT community. They were inspired to come out as who they truly are and not who they were seen as. She helped so many people from harming themselves and committing suicide because they were afraid of whether people would accept them for what their sexuality was. Ratings dropped for the show, “Ellen’’ and eventually became canceled after the 5th season.
“I think the show kind of became about a woman being gay, instead of a woman who happened to be gay, eventually, people just turned away from it,” said the executive producer of “Ellen,” Mark Driscoll. When the show ended, it was hard for Ellen to find work for over three years. But, that didn’t stop her from making an even bigger impact on the world.
Ellen has her own extremely famous TV show, called The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She brings tons of celebrities including the Obamas, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Zac Efron, and the Rock. She even has brought many of her fans onto her show. She enjoys bringing talented and humorous children, teachers, veterans, and struggling families on her show as well. She changed and touched most of their lives.
Over the course of the show, tons of smiles, laughs, and tears have been brought by the millions of viewers. Just by watching a few episodes, people keep coming back for more. Ellen has many hilarious and iconic games on her show in which, she also gives away TV’s and money. She also has a lot of giveaways on her show. From gift cards ranging over hundreds of dollars, tons of money, home appliances, toys, and cars she gives them all away to those who are struggling, children, and people in her audience. Over 13 years of her show, Ellen has donated a whopping 50 million dollars to different charities and to her audience.
Now that it is the 16th season of her show, she definitely has donated well over than 50 million dollars over the course of her entire show. (Ellis) “Be kind to one another,” Ellen always says at the end of her show. The kindness she embraces on her show greatly affects the people watching. She encourages others to spread kindness to everyone, so everyone can make the world a better place. Ellen received about 30 Emmys and about 20 People’s Choice awards for her famous daytime talk show. (IMDb.com) She uses her famous show to spread happiness, kindness, and laughter but, she also does that outside of her show. (Ellis)
Ellen has such a huge impact on the world. She supports and is an advocate for 50 charities and organizations. She supports many causes such as abuse, the LGBT community, animal abuse and extinction, diseases, mental health issues, human trafficking, and many other global problems. (Ellen DeGeneres: Charity) She donates tons and tons of money so she can help others. Ellen even has her own fund called “the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund” which supports the protection of endangered species because she also, has a powerful love for animals and wanted to do more to help the animals that are in danger of extinction.
She has been awarded for her generosity and kindness by receiving the “Favorite Humanitarian Award at the People’s Choice Awards.” She gave a very compelling speech when she came up to the stage and obtained the award. “It’s a little strange to get an award for being nice and generous and kind, which is what we’re all supposed to do with one another. That’s the point of being human… Deep down we all love each other and we really need to get back to that.”
She was letting people know that she doesn’t embrace kindness not because she wanted good publicity, but she did it out of the kindness in her heart so she can make the world a better place. She sets a precedent to her fans that every individual must all be kind to everyone and everything. She wants people to learn from her that everyone can change the world if each individual use kindness in every possible way. Even just, donating a dollar, giving someone a smile, and just making someone laugh when times are rough. Ellen believes that people can all make a difference by choosing kindness. (Ellis)
Overall, Ellen is one of the most inspiring and amazing celebrity. She started from wanting to be a veterinarian to being a world-famous celebrity. Since she started to become famous she always wanted to make a difference in the world. She keeps up with her famous show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Ellen’s Game of Games and at the same time she is always being kind, making people smile, and laugh. Throughout it all, she is an advocate for about 50 charities and is always supporting others. She is an inspiration to everyone and influences them to be happy with who they are and be generous, friendly, and courageous. As Ellen always says, “Be kind to one another!”