Ellen DeGeneres opened up on the “power of television” as she received the Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
The popular talk show host took to the stage to collect the prize, which is presented annually to industry trailblazers, and during her speech, the openly gay star jokingly thanked her “husband Marc” and their “children” at home.
“Marc, you are my rock,” she quipped. “Thank you for supporting me through this crazy journey. I know it wasn’t easy for you or the kids – Rupert and Fiona, go to bed.”
As the audience laughed, she added: “That’s funny because they’re in college now.”
The star went on to reflect on “the real power of television” as she considered the wider effect her show, which is currently in its 17th season, had culturally.
“People watch my show and then are inspired to go out and do the same thing,” the 61-year-old said. “Television inspired and influenced everything that I am today… all I ever wanted to do is make people feel good and laugh.”
Presenting the award to the TV icon, Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon introduced Ellen with a moving speech championing her decision to publicly come out as gay in 1997.
“She risked her entire life and her entire career to tell the truth,” McKinnon said. “Attitudes changed, but only because brave people like Ellen jump into the fire.”