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Ellen DeGeneres mad at ABC’s warning for ‘Ellen’

October 8, 1997 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A furious Ellen DeGeneres accused ABC of censorship for placing a warning about ``adult content″ before Wednesday’s episode of ``Ellen,″ in which the actress kisses a female co-star.

``I never wanted to be an activist, but now they’re turning me into one,″ DeGeneres told TV Guide.

In addition to the TV-14 rating icon that flashes at the opening of the show, ABC added an additional sentence: ``Due to adult content, parental discretion is advised.″ ABC representatives would not explain why the additional warning was added.

No such extra warning was flashed last spring during the highly-rated episode where DeGeneres’ character, Ellen Morgan, came out as a lesbian.

The Ellen character has yet to attempt a romantic kiss with another woman. Wednesday’s kiss was described by a show spokeswoman as a ``joking″ one with actress Joely Fisher, who plays Ellen’s best friend, Paige.

The episode, titled ``Roommates,″ is about Ellen mistakenly thinking a woman looking for a roommate is actually seeking a romantic partner.

The actress said the only reason the episode is getting a warning label is ``because I’m gay.″

DeGeneres said the aim of the series was to let gay kids know there’s nothing wrong with being gay ``and now they’re saying, `Children shouldn’t watch it.‴

``Where will it stop?″ she asked. ``If you say, `Don’t watch a show that has gay people on it,′ who’s to say they won’t one day say, `Don’t watch a show that has black people on it, or Jews?‴

DeGeneres said she believed the parental advisory was being considered for two additional ``Ellen″ episodes.

ABC spokesman Kevin Brockman said he believed other network programs have received a similar warning about adult content, but he wasn’t able to name any.

``The network has a responsibility to give viewers and parents as much information as possible so they can make educational decisions for young viewers,″ he said. ``The advisory on tonight’s episode is simply meant to do just that _ provide additional information. It is not meant to exclude viewers.″

ABC, owned by the Walt Disney Co., has been under attack from religious groups over Ellen’s coming-out episode and the new series ``Nothing Sacred,″ about a priest ambivalent on such church doctrines as abortion and celibacy.