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Claim Ellen - Ellen comes out of the closet

Category: Arts & Entertainment:Television JUDGED at 100
Owner:6, sburnap@wsgc.com
Judge:97, Loophole
due date:1997/06/30

The Claim

There have been rumors floating around that the "Ellen Morgan" character on the sitcom "Ellen" will come out of the closet, making her the first gay main character in TV history. This claim will pay $1 if this does indeed happen this TV season. Otherwise, this claim pays $0.

In order to be judged YES, the character "Ellen Morgan" on the sitcom "Ellen" must describe herself using the word "gay", "lesbian" or "homosexual" in at least one episode in the 1996/1997 TV season. This includes an affirmative response to another character"s question ("Are you gay?" "Yes"). If such statements are clearly in jest (as in the "Seinfeld" "Gay" episode) the occurance does not count.

This claim should also be judged YES if the "Ellen Morgan" character expresses romantic interest in another female character either physically (as in a kiss) or verbally. Again, if such actions or statements are clearly in jest, the occurance does not count. If such an action is explained as a "one time thing" by the end of the episode in question then this action does not count for a YES judegment. Multipart episodes should be considered as a single episode for the purposes of this claim. (In other words, if a part one cliffhanger ends with Ellen kissing a woman and in part two this is explained away ala the "Rosanne" kiss) then the episode does not count as an instance for a YES judegment.

If neither of these conditions is met by the end of the 1996/1997 TV season, the claim should be judged NO.

Judge's Statement

Having worked with the author to craft the wording carefully to reflect the intent, I expect to use that wording to guide the judgement. If the result would be unclear based on the wording alone, I will rely on my understanding the intent of the claim author to judge.

A conflict between intent and wording might arise, for example, if Ellen expresses romantic interest in another female character, is rejected, and indicates (believably or not) that she doesn't plan to try again. Such an episode would not indicate a TRUE result.

An episode of interest to this claim is scheduled to be shown on April 30 1997. See http://www.glaad.org:80/glaad/ellen/. I expect to tape and review that show.

The claim cannot be closed with a FALSE result until the end of the 1996/1997 season.

Here's what TV guide has to say about the April 30 episode of Ellen:

Ellen (Ellen DeGeneres) comes out on an episode that might just be the best in the sitcom's hit-or-miss history. The show meets the issue head on: Ellen's epiphany about her sexual identity happens when she falls madly in love with another woman (Laura Dern). The comic setup sequence involving Ellen, her TV-reporter friend and his lesbian producer (Dern) is deftly handled by DeGeneres. And the poignant payoff, when Ellen finally utters the words, "I'm gay," is destined to become one of TV's most memorable moments. Oprah Winfrey has a nice turn as Ellen's therapist. Richard: Steven Eckholdt. Peter: Patrick Bristow. Paige: Joely Fisher. Audrey: Clea Lewis. [cc]

The Market

Your Buy YES Orders Players Buying YES Coupons
Price Plot for life of Ellen
Last trade price: 0
Current ask price: 100
Current bid price: 0
Pairs outstanding: 2275
Players participating: 35
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