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Ellen DeGeneres to get Carol Burnett Award

By AAP Newswire

Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres will be honoured at the 77th Golden Globes ceremony with the Carol Burnett Award for outstanding contributions to television, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association says.

"From her sitcoms, to stand-up comedy, to becoming a household staple on daytime television, she is a pioneer who has captivated audiences for nearly 25 years with her undeniable charm and wit," wrote HFPA President Lorenzo Soria in a statement on Monday.

"In addition to her television success, she's an advocate and philanthropist, lending her voice to those who don't have one and spreading kindness and joy through the power of her platform. We look forward to celebrating her achievements at this year's ceremony."

DeGeneres has scored three Golden Globe nominations in her career, all for her performance as quirky bookstore owner Ellen Morgan in ABC's Ellen.

The '90s sitcom broke ground when its titular character - along with DeGeneres - came out of the closet in 1997, making it one of the first major TV shows with an openly gay lead character.

Meanwhile, her long-running talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has been a staple at the Daytime Emmys throughout its 16-year run, garnering 11 wins in the talk show category and four wins for DeGeneres as host.

News of the Golden Globe honour comes a month after the comedian faced backlash when photos and video circulated online of the outspoken LGBTQ activist at an NFL game seated next to, and exchanging pleasantries with, former President George W. Bush.

Some Twitter users criticised her for having a friendly exchange with the former president, calling him a "war criminal" and noting his record on same-sex marriage. But DeGeneres defended herself during a taping of her talk show - further dissatisfying some with her explanation.

"Here's the thing: I'm friends with George Bush," she told her studio audience. "In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different, and I think we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different."

DeGeneres becomes the second recipient of the Carol Burnett Award, established as a way to recognise the medium's new golden age. Last year's inaugural honoree was, naturally, the award's namesake, Carol Burnett.

The Golden Globes ceremony is scheduled for January 5.