llen DeGeneres and Sean Hayes exchanged barbs Wednesday, teasing one another about their respective legacies as two of the most prominent LGBTQ stars on mainstream television. Rest assured, however, that it was all in good fun.
During a conversation on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that the host dubbed the “battle of the gays,” Hayes joked that the success of his Emmy-winning series, “Will & Grace,” surpassed that of “Ellen.” DeGeneres’ sitcom was canceled in 1998, shortly after her character came out as a lesbian.
DeGeneres, however, wasn’t fazed by Hayes’ cheeky jab, and pointed to the fact that her series is widely credited for having paved the way for “Will & Grace” and other queer-inclusive TV programming.
“That’s right, I had to come out first for you all to do that sitcom,” she replied, as seen in the clip above. “Go ahead!”