“The Catholic League signed a statement written by Brent Bozell III, and signed by dozens of individuals and organizations, taking ABC to task for airing the April 30 edition of Ellen. This particular show, which was promoted by ABC for months, featured actress Ellen DeGeneres “coming out.” In real life, the actress is a lesbian.
To garner the highest possible ratings, Disney/ABC included on the show appearances by Oprah Winfrey, k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge, Laura Dern, Billy Bob Thornton and Dwight Yoakam. In a survey prior to the show, 63 percent of Americans said they would not watch this episode and some sponsors pulled out completely, namely General Motors, Chrysler and Johnson & Johnson.
The statement which the league signed includes the following comment: “The much-ballyhooed April 30 ‘coming out’ episode of the show Ellen is insulting to millions of American families who once looked to Disney as a beacon of family entertainment. This transparent PR move to revive the show’s sagging ratings — by slowly leaking information throughout the season that Ellen DeGeneres’ character may reveal herself to be a lesbian — is also a blatant attempt by Disney, ABC, and Ellen to promote homosexuality to America’s families.”