Ellen DeGeneres Got Emotional Accepting Medal Of Freedom

On Tuesday, 21 people were honored by President Obama when they received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

They included activists, artists, athletes and a comedian who almost wasn't allowed in the White House because she forgot her IDEllen DeGeneres.

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" host was obviously moved when the president hugged her and presented her with the medal.

She was honored for her years of activism and for her contributions to pop culture.

One of her most iconic contributions includes her character coming out as a lesbian on her sitcom "Ellen" in 1997.

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Nearly 20 years later, the atmosphere of television has changed completely.

Sponsors, JC Penney and Chrysler pulled their advertising for the episode while Wendy's never aired an advertisement during the show again.

Now, JC Penney features homosexual couples in their advertising, Chrysler is a company known for appreciating their diverse LGBTQ+ workers, and Wendy's, after people boycotted their choice of removing advertising, heard the message loud and clear.

DeGeneres' role in "Finding Nemo" was also mentioned. The White House aide who introduced her added,

Again and again, Ellen DeGeneres has shown us that a single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place — so long as we just keep swimming.

DeGeneres had difficulty holding back her tears.

After the ceremony, she tweeted a selfie she took with her wife Portia de Rossi as she wore her new medal.


After she forgot her ID this morning, she jokingly tweeted,

.@POTUS Barack Obama just awarded me the #MedalofFreedom. I hope it serves as an ID. I have no idea how I'm getting home.

Other honorees included Tom Hanks, Michael Jordon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross, Bill and Melinda Gates, Lorne Michaels, Robert Redford, Bruce Springsteen, Cicely Tyson and Vin Scully.

You can watch the full ceremony below.

ABC News on YouTube

Citations: Ellen DeGeneres gets emotional while receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom (EW)