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Ellen DeGeneres angry over parental advisory

Ellen's Kiss

But executive producer says she won't quit sitcom

October 9, 1997
Web posted at: 10:19 p.m. EDT (0219 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The executive producer of Ellen DeGeneres' ABC sitcom, "Ellen," is denying a published report that he and DeGeneres plan to quit because of a dispute with ABC over a parental advisory attached to Wednesday's episode.

Tim Doyle told CNN on Thursday that he will be there for Friday's taping of the show and that he "expects Ellen to be there also." DeGeneres reported to work Thursday.

The New York Times reported Thursday that DeGeneres and Doyle were threatening to quit over ABC's decision to attach a parental advisory prior to the latest episode of "Ellen" because of a kiss between two female characters.

"It is really inappropriate for me to comment further on any discussions between my attorney, ABC and Disney," Doyle said. The Walt Disney Co. owns the network.

DeGeneres' publicist, Pat Kingsley, told CNN that her client is "unhappy, disheartened, and concerned over the designation for an advisory that's always consisted of violence, (coarse) language, and nudity, which her show doesn't have. She simply wants that advisory taken off."

DeGeneres' comments following the show
icon 288K/13 sec. AIFF or WAV sound

Jennifer Allen, another publicist for DeGeneres, said that "things are still to be determined and she is shooting a show tomorrow and she hasn't walked off yet."

In the episode that aired Wednesday, DeGeneres' character, Ellen Morgan, kissed her best friend on the show, Paige, played by actress Joely Fisher. Both DeGeneres and the character she plays are gay; Fisher's character is not.

The kiss came in the context of a joke on the show, in which Paige is trying to convince another woman that she was Ellen's girlfriend to get Ellen out of a difficult situation. It was not in the context of a romantic or sexual encounter between the two women.

But in addition to the TV-14 rating icon that flashes at the opening of the show, ABC displayed a sentence: "Due to adult content, parental discretion is advised." No such extra warning was flashed last spring during a highly rated episode where Ellen came out as a lesbian.

An ABC network representative told CNN, "We feel it's the network's responsibility to provide information to parents who may wish to make a more informed viewing choice for children."

But DeGeneres maintains that the network inserted the extra warning because she is openly gay. She says an aim of her series is to let gay kids know there is nothing wrong with being gay -- a message contradicted by the advisory.

Disney has been under attack from conservative religious groups over the "Ellen" coming-out episode.


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