Off stage, away from the cameras, Adweek’s Media Visionary is as genuine and thoughtful as the likable persona she’s cultivated during her long, remarkable career as an entertainer, writer, producer, and LGBTQ and animal activist.
Following her steady rise as a comedian, DeGeneres headlined HBO stand-up comedy specials, guested on TV shows and, in 1994, landed her eponymous sitcom on ABC.
America was a very different place 20-plus years ago than it is now, and some tough years followed for DeGeneres, to put it mildly.
She landed a daytime talker, now with a rabid following and in its 16th season, hosted the Emmys and Oscars (and blew up Twitter with her star-studded selfie) and was a judge on American Idol, and along the way scooped up 59 Daytime Emmy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, 20 People’s Choice Awards and the 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom, among many other accolades.
Somehow, DeGeneres finds time to produce several TV shows via her A Very Good Production company, including NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games, Little Big Shots and ABC’s Splitting Up Together.
DeGeneres in recent years has made the successful transition to the third screen, using social media as yet another platform to entertain and inspire, but also to tackle controversial issues, from school shootings to MeToo moments, most recently taking to Twitter in support of Christine Blasey Ford during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate hearings.