To say Ellen DeGeneres is a trailblazer would be an understatement. To say she made it easier for other LGBTQ people in Hollywood and entertainment also doesn't adequately sum it up. But Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon did when she introduced Ellen to give her the second-ever Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes.
Kate told the audience there was no way she ever would have been able to dream of being an out comic were it not for Ellen's famous coming out episode on her sitcom in the '90s.
"She risked her entire life and her entire career in order to tell the truth, and she suffered greatly for it," Kate said. "Attitudes change, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change.
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"If I hadn't seen her on TV, I would have thought, 'I could never be on TV. They don't let LGBTQ people be on TV.' And more than that, I would have gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn't have a right to be here."
Ellen acknowledged the difference she had made when she accepted the award, which she hilariously dedicated to her make-believe "husband," Mark, and her equally make-believe children while wife Portia De Rossi smiled adoringly in the crowd.
"There is no greater feeling than when someone tells me that I've made their day better with my show, or that I've helped them get through a sickness or a hard time in their lives," she said. "But the real power of television, for me, is not that people watch my show, but that people watch my show and then they're inspired to do the same thing in their own lives."
The Carol Burnett Award recognizes Ellen's lifetime of success in film and television. The icon has hosted the Oscars, Grammys and the Emmys in her career, and has also won 100 awards throughout her incredible career. She's touched millions - maybe even billions - of lives, and we're so grateful she's helped make people's lives easier.