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Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper Join Forces To Stop Bullying


Anderson Cooper and Ellen DeGeneres may very well be the next television power couple.

The hosts have both used their respective platforms this week to highlight the plight of bullied teens. Now they've combining their powers for the greater good: Cooper appeared on Ellen's daytime talk show, and she in turn appeared on his CNN news show.

While on CNN last night, Ellen told Cooper how her own experience with bullying and anti-gay jokes helps her empathize with people like Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who committed suicide last week:

When these things happen, it feels like a direct assault on me, because I am that person that they are bullying. I am that person that -- that feels like committing suicide. They're talking about me. I'm gay, and I have been ostracized my whole life and in society. And I'm sent that message on a daily basis by the media, and -- and it hurts. And I want to say to those kids out there I have been through it. I came out. I am successful. I am happy. I am in love, and there is Hope.

Cooper also spoke last night with teens who have been bullied. One participant explained what it was like being taunted for his sexuality: "I believed that I did not deserve to live." Heartbreaking.

Cooper's week-long look into bullying concludes this Friday with a town hall meeting that will appear on both CNN and the Cartoon Network. Cooper's power knows no network's bounds. Nor does Ellen's. Has the power vacuum created by Oprah's daytime departure been filled?

Watch DeGeneres' appearance on AC 360, AFTER THE JUMP...

Sorry not to have the Ellen footage. The only video currently available doesn't come with embed code.

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  1. I disagree Marcus, Middle America doesn't know he's gay any more than knew Rosie ODDonnel was gay when she came out.I remember A TV Guide poll that showed a small percentage of people knew Rosie was gay when her show was on. Even in 2010 Most people are not on gossip websites .Most people don't read tabloids. Most people don't google news anchors. I don't know the average age of AC360 viewers.I know my fiftysomething parents are faithful viewers -BTW my mom thought Anderson had something going on with Erica Hill.LOL

    Posted by: Kim | Oct 6, 2010 3:01:54 PM

  2. Last night's program was very moving and watching the kid's thoughts on bullying really brings home how tragic this situation is.

    The responsibility begins with proper parenting at home and the fact that so little discipline happens there or at school these days gives bullies all the license they need to bully someone. It's just another symptom of a "let kids be kids" society which turns a blind eye and does nothing but breed crazed little bullies who later become adult criminals.

    Why are jails so full? Apathetic parenting. I truly feel sorry for this country in about 30 years when crime is rampant and martial law is the standard.

    Posted by: johnny | Oct 6, 2010 3:16:24 PM

  3. It seems to me that Anderson is saying to the public that it does and will hurt him if he is to come out. And there are those that agree, saying he would not be taken seriously as a journalist, or that people could then write him off as disingenuous when covering “gay issues”. I don’t believe so…journalistic integrity has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and Anderson Cooper, doesn’t seem to me to be doing “opinion” pieces based on a leaning to the right or left, I thought his interview with Alan Grayson, last night was great and proved that; that’s not to say all LGBT people are left leaning, just look at the people from GOPROUD or the Log Cabin members. To me Anderson Cooper is saying to the LGBT youth of this country that it is better to hide, that deep down they really do have something to be ashamed of. I really don’t need Anderson Cooper to come out on his television program, what might be nice is if he began making public appearances with his boyfriend, instead of going solo and keeping his boyfriend a secret. And instead of responding to the reporter who asked him some time back if he was gay, that it has nothing to do with his professional career, (which of course it doesn’t! who’s sexual orientation has anything to do with their job performance, unless you’re a sex worker, anyway?), he could have just said, “Yes, I’m gay, but of course that has nothing to do with my professional career.”
    IMHO, Anderson Cooper by continuing not to be honest about his sexual orientation is sending the message that being gay is something one should, and needs to be ashamed of.

    Posted by: Bobo | Oct 6, 2010 3:16:54 PM

  4. @marcus. I wasn't talking about terrorists. I was talking about legitimate governments restricting his travel or even having him arresting for being homosexual. I've traveled recently in Kosovo, an extremely homophobic culture, and while my client is very liberal minded, I'm sorry to say I don't advertise my personal life when I'm there. I just don't know enough about the people to know what they think. I wish the world were different that way, but I think we all make adjustments in our daily lives and censor ourselves under certain conditions. I just thought what Kathy Griffin said was an interesting take on the issue that I hadn't heard before. Maybe he's not in a position like other celebrities. Is it an excuse? Maybe. But I don't think celebrities or newscasters owe us their personal lives if they don't want to give it. Have you ever walked down the street with a really famous person? I have, and it's a frightening experience to be so exposed publicly. Maybe he's not hiding anything? Maybe he's protecting his last shred of privacy, not his orientation, but just his personal relationship. Maybe that person doesn't want to be a public figure. Maybe he wants to date normal people, not famous people. Once you open up your private life like that, nothing is ever truly private again, a break-up or a divorce becomes public spectacle. Those things are hard enough for us civilians, let alone going through it in the public eye. Would it be great if he came out? Sure. Would it really affect that many teens? More than what he's already doing? Not so sure. You say he's already the news, but I would say the news you're talking about is gossip and blogs, not really the news.

    Posted by: spiderseye | Oct 6, 2010 3:52:57 PM

  5. I watched the program last night and I had one major problem that didn't have anything to do with Andy not coming out of the closet - and just to add my two cents I think very few people know he's gay. My incredibly liberal aunt and uncle who are very politically engaged and live in Cambridge, MA didn't have a clue when I told them.

    My problem was with his treatment of the Focus on the Family guy or whichever group he was from (they're all the same, really). I will give Andy credit in that he did push back and question the man about his opinions - but therein lies my problem. People like that, hatemongers like that, should not be given a platform to share their "opinions." Blabbing on about the "homosexual agenda" and our "lifestyle choices" is not a valid argument about anything, it is not just the other side of the debate. It is hate and it is wrong. So while it was admirable for Andy to show a lot of push back neither he nor the bullying expert had the guts to say, "No. You are wrong. What you are saying is hate and it is actively contributing to the problem."

    Posted by: SKOC211 | Oct 6, 2010 4:03:31 PM

  6. I think what Ellen & Cooper are doing is great, but I think that the effort should be targeted to ALL bullying--not just at kids who are homosexual. All bullying is wrong, whether it be because of sexual preference, a disability or just not fitting in.

    Posted by: Jennifer | Oct 6, 2010 4:39:17 PM

  7. It isn't helpful when closeted Gay journalists do interviews and exposés on the topic of Gay bullying. They are setting an example of LGBT identity being too shameful to acknowledge or talk about.

    It's also not helpful when well-meaning folks (although some of them aren't necessarily well-meaning) tell Gay kids "it gets better" when it often doesn't, and when they need intervention instead of advice to "hang in there". This op-ed goes into more detail:

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Oct 6, 2010 5:27:55 PM

  8. You people are pathetic. He is out. Everyone who knows him knows he's gay. His family, friends and fans accept that he is gay. Why does he need to shout it out. If he says that he is not gay, then we have a problem. But I think most sane people know that he is an out gay man and blind Freddy would know that too.

    Posted by: allan | Oct 6, 2010 5:55:01 PM

  9. KIM: I was talking about the Middle East, not Middle America. I agree, Middle America on the whole doesn't fully know, but they are more aware than we want to give them credit for. I was living in Middle America when I heard about Rock Hudson and various others. They know more than you think--they just prefer not to talk about it. People, even in Middle America put two and two together and make four.

    spiderseye: Rachel Maddow, Ellen Degeneres, Rosie O'Donnell, George Michael have traveled the world for years doing concerts, news stories in hundreds of different countries around the world. I have never heard of any of them or anyone other celebrity being denied access because they were gay. Especially an American celebrity. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

    Like I said before, what would stop someone, a govt official in some other country from googling him and finding this information out anyway? He doesn't have to be out for his gayness to effect his life or career. Asked some of these bullied children.

    BTW, I don't think Anderson owes me a thing. If he doesn't want to be famous, then he should find other employment, and anyone who chooses to date him while he is famous: that's their problem. Anderson Cooper wouldn't have any less privacy if he came out than he does now. The paparazzi get pictures of him and his boyfriend daily, he's in the tabloids and has been for years. What do you think they are going to report on him once he comes out that they're not reporting on him now? His breakups--they've already done that. His sex life--done.

    And yes, he is the news...they talk about him on the View, various entertainment shows, and yes the blogs. AOL ran a story on the front of its page that said BLOG ARE VYING TO OUT ANDERSON COOPER.

    If he trying to avoid being the story, he's doing a horrible job.

    He seems to be the story everyday.

    Posted by: Marcus | Oct 6, 2010 6:06:03 PM

  10. I can understand why Anderson is reluctant to come out publicly, because it would become a story, unfortunately, probably one more prominent than whatever it is he is covering in the moment. If he publicly came out during the discussion of gay bullying, some of the attention that was on bullying would be refocussed on Anderson's sexuality, which isn't the point.

    Yet, there comes a point when, as a highly public person who's written memoirs for god's sake, the obvious elephant in the room becomes a distraction in itself. Every time I watch him interviewing some loony homophobe in the name of "balance" (or CNN's simple-minded version of that), I can't help but wonder what on earth is going on inside his head. It's weird for him to be a complete cipher as his guests hurl homophobic crap at his blank face, and in my opinion he's giving the phobes extra power while denying his own humanity.

    He may be out to his family and friends, but it takes energy for someone so high-profile not to be out in general, and it implies a certain shame that he can't simply acknowledge who he is and move on. The more people who are out in their public lives (however small or large that public is), the less of a story it becomes. I hope he'll find the courage and integrity to come out his own terms and gracefully go about his business.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 6, 2010 7:49:42 PM

  11. Celebrities often do not discuss things with the public they feel will not help their career. That doesn't mean they are ashamed of those things. They may be really happy with some or all of those things. It means they are selective about sharing with the public and those things didn't make the cut because it doesn't satisfy their publicity purposes or they consider it personal.

    The issue is bullying not coming out. Kids are already coming out, it's the bullying they face that's the problem. Bullies aren't going to stop bullying because they learn a celebrity is gay, especially an old guy on CNN. Young gay kids would probably really rather see someone like Matthew Bomer or Zac Efron come out.

    Posted by: greg | Oct 6, 2010 10:06:37 PM

  12. First of all, I think it is AC's right to come-out or stay-in the closet. I presume he is gay, based on information I have been given from my niece who is in the entertainment industry. But maybe he isn't. I don't think we have a right to demand him to come-out, that is a personal issue.

    Secondly, he may have a clause in his employment contract that prohibits him from coming-out.

    The only time I think "Outing" a person is if they are in the public arena, actor, politician or news person if they are not living a double life and publicly making votes or saying things that are hurtful to gay civil rights, then leave them alone.

    I think AC can be a great role model for young men and women. He reports the news and doesn't try to influence your opinion with his own agenda. The people who should be outed are the ones like Larry Craig and others who have voted anti-gay all their careers and are caught living a gay life.

    Posted by: bsmart2 | Oct 6, 2010 11:12:24 PM

  13. This is crazy... Absolutely crazy...

    I mean... WHO thinks that live streaming someone's - anyone's - sex life live on cam is okay?

    Gay, straight, or other, it's never okay to broadcast someone's private sex life.

    Also, I DO use 'that's so GAY!' just the way Ellen does, as in, "That is SO gay! I LOVE IT AND I WANT ONE!" XD;;;

    Posted by: Ravynskye | Oct 6, 2010 11:51:29 PM

  14. Here's the solution to not getting bullied...and it's very simple:

    Stop being a sissy.

    Yeah, that's pretty much it. Stop acting effeminate, man up, pick up the occasional ball or dumbell, and try losing that lisp.

    My work is done here.

    Posted by: Gino Ros | Oct 7, 2010 1:43:37 AM

  15. Yo! My dog's been missing for a while. He's short and squat, and takes way too many steroids. His name's gino ros, and he's just a really good dog (can fetch that ball like nobody's business)...seen him around?

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 7, 2010 2:04:23 AM

  16. Anderson is a reporter and uses that role to do a lot for the community. He is not a spokesperson. It doesn't make much sense (to me) to judge him as a bad spokesperson if he isn't one in the first place, let alone to judge him at all.

    Some people don't want to be in the spotlight, and it doesn't mean they're ashamed of who they are or paralyzed by shyness or apathy. Let yourself be the firebrand and let other people be who they are... ::gasp:: ...even if they're gay!

    Posted by: C | Oct 7, 2010 4:33:04 AM

  17. If you had been a serious drug addict for a couple years, then recovered and become very successful, would you want to admit that to the world? In no way am I saying that being gay is equivalent to being a drug addict---but the distraction would always be there. (And I mean heroin addict, not alcoholic or even cokehead.) I think that is exactly the thinking that AC comes from, and I don't blame him.

    If he'd gone to Katrina and done his amazing reporting as the "fag" reporter, he wouldn't haven't gotten nearly as far. This is one of the few cases where I think it's fine for anyone with a clue to know the truth and for idiots to not. We all know he's gay, and 99% of gay teens are not going to give a crap if he's in or out.

    Posted by: Dave | Oct 7, 2010 5:50:46 AM

  18. I dedicate this posting on my FB wall to "John", a 13 year old gay student of mine that committed suicide because of the bullying and gay bashing he received everyday at school. After repeatedly couseling him I thought he was going to be ok but then one day on my arrival to my classroom the kids told me he had shot himself in the head. I ask myself everyday what more I could have done to save this precious life. I can't help but think I failed him. I'm so sorry "John".

    Posted by: Robert | Oct 7, 2010 12:09:52 PM

  19. Anderson Copper is doing us more good by presenting the facts as the really are. Does anyone thing if he came out we could expect
    the neutral but honest point of view that he now employs, some things are better left unsaid.

    Posted by: EJ | Oct 8, 2010 11:39:35 AM

  20. I was going to say "ditto", but found a comment above that I can quote which echoes my feelings precisely: "... if Anderson remains closeted, then he is doing more harm than good, even when he does gay news stories on his show. Because he is teaching these teens to know SHAME by continuing himself to hide."

    Posted by: Goochy | Oct 13, 2010 5:03:51 PM

  21. Ok, so most people are saying Anderson Cooper needs to come out. Well he did durin 9-11, he has admitted to being a gay male. ya I think he should also do an ad for or the Trevor project. but at the same time and with whats going on in school's now a days is sad. I graduated in 2002 and for my last prom, my Senior Prom, I brought my boyfriend at the time to my prom as my date, and I didn't have any problems. That night was my full coming out to my school and my friends. Also I'm happy that the principle was a homosexual family member, she was a lesbian..
    I wish the times were like before, where no one had to worry about what was said or shit like that..

    Posted by: Greg Craft | Nov 1, 2010 7:26:29 AM

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