Ellen Degeneres Won’t Welcome Donald Trump to Her Show: ‘I’m Not Gonna Change His Mind’
In a new interview with Matt Lauer on Today, Degeneres says she once filmed a gimmicky segment alongside Trump for The Apprentice years ago, but has not seen him since, and says he represents a stubborn shortsightedness she simply can't entertain.
"I have not spoken to him since he's run for president or become president," she says. "I'm not gonna change his mind. He's against everything that I stand for. We need to look at someone else who looks different than us and believes in something that we don't believe in and still accept them and still let them have their rights."
Degeneres also reflects on coming out 20 years ago on her eponymous sitcom. While the episode sparked some huge controversy in 1997, her only regret is not having made the bold choice earlier.
"I was anticipating it being a charged episode, which it was, because it was making a big decision to come out and to be honest and to stop hiding something that I had kept secret for so long," she notes. "It was a big deal. I look back on it now and I think, 'I wish I would have done it sooner. I wish I hadn't waited so long.'"
Degeneres adds that she received some beautifully encouraging notes from viewers who were struggling with their sexuality, but acknowledges her own path in the aftermath of the episode was a tough one.
"There were death threats and that was negative, I look at that as a negative," she jokes. "The biggest thing was I lost my career. For three years I couldn't work...I was 45 years old and I was like: 'This doesn't look good.' I was angry at first, and then I just thought 'I gotta do something about this.'"
"It taught me compassion, it taught me that I was strong enough to start all over again and it was the greatest thing to ever happen to me," she says.
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