Ellen DeGeneres was the recipient of the Carol Burnett Award at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday night. Comedian Kate McKinnon presented the award, which honors "excellence in television," to the talk show host and fellow comedian.
In a heartfelt speech, McKinnon spoke about the impact DeGeneres made by coming out on her eponymous sitcom "Ellen."
DeGeneres announced she was a lesbian when the show "was at the height of its popularity" and made LGBTQ kids like McKinnon feel all the more seen and valued.
"She risked her entire life and her entire career in order to tell the truth and she suffered greatly for it," McKinnon said. "Of course, attitudes change but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire to make them change. And if I hadn't seen her on TV I would've thought, 'Oh I can never be on TV. They don't let LGBTQ people on TV.'"
McKinnon thanked DeGeneres for "giving me a shot at a good life" and said she felt like she had a right to be an entertainer because of her.
DeGeneres is the second recipient of the Carol Burnett award. The first award, given out in 2019, was presented to Carol Burnett herself. The award was created to serve as the television counterpart to the Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Award, presented annually since 1952 to someone in the film industry who has made "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."