Ellen Degenres awarded the Medal of Freedom By an Emotional Barack Obama

“It’s easy to forget now, when we’ve come so far, just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. What an incredible burden that was to bear — to risk your career like that — people don’t do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders.” Said President Barack Obama after he presented the Medal of Freedom, the highest American Civilian Honor, to the star host of television chat-show – Ellen.

ellen degeneres show

Ellen DeGeneres is one of the most beloved personas in the modern television history. She has her own syndicated talk show which features celebrities and socialites from all over the world. She also streams a segment catering to bring to the forefront the many kind gestures or the unbelievable acts of courage and love or stunning miracles that have been done/happened to the people. Not to forget the humorous element of the show that has everybody forgetting about their problems with just one minute into the episode. Why? Because you cannot have an Ellen show that is not vibrant, cheerful and uplifting. From pranks to cyber comics to funny interviews with celebrities to the hostess herself being a cracker.

But Ellen wasn’t always the happy-go-lucky person that she is now. She battled with depression after she came out to the Time magazine in 1997 saying, “Yep, I’m Gay”. This resulted in much backlash borne by her – both onscreen and offscreen. It also lead to the cancellation of her popular sitcom called “Ellen” that ran from 1994 to 1998. Lost in the narrow-mindedness of the society, Ellen struggled for that phase of her life until Pixar came to the rescue and offered her the role of Dory in the famous movie “Finding Nemo”. From then on, she pulled herself up and went on to host her show called “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” since 2003 that is currently watched by 15 million people per week. And it is this kind of generosity, of courage, of perseverance that she has shown which led to Barack Obama presenting her with this honour along 20 other eminent personalities.

ellen degeneres and 21 recipients of medal of freedom

In every role, she reminds us to be kind to one another and to treat people as each of us wants to be treated. At a pivotal moment, her courage and candor helped change the hearts and minds of millions of Americans, accelerating our nation’s constant drive towards equality and acceptance for all. Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place so long as we just keep swimming,” Called the narrator from the White House as the medal was presented to her by the President.

The list of celebrities who received the medal are –

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball player
  • Elouise Cobell (posthumous), Native American advocate
  • Ellen DeGeneres, Comedian
  • Robert De Niro, Actor
  • Richard Garwin, Physicist
  • Bill and Melinda Gates, Philanthropists
  • Frank Gehry, Architect
  • Margaret H Hamilton, Mathematician and computer scientist
  • Tom Hanks, Actor
  • Grace Hopper (posthumous), Rear Admiral
  • Michael Jordan, Basketball player
  • Maya Lin, Artist and designer
  • Lorne Michaels, Producer and screenwriter
  • Newt Minow, Attorney
  • Eduardo Padrón, The President of Miami Dade College (MDC)
  • Robert Redford, Actor, director and producer
  • Diana Ross, Singer
  • Vin Scully, Broadcaster
  • Bruce Springsteen, Singer and songwriter
  • Cicely Tyson, Actor

All these amazing people, just like Ellen, have touched our lives in one way or the other, directly or indirectly, and deserve the honour that is bestowed upon them. Kudos and Hats Off to the great work done by these personalities.