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Brittani Nichols

Brittani Nichols (Photo by Robin Roemer)

As a queer woman who came of age during the late 2000s, I can attest to the impact that Ellen DeGeneres had on my life. Though her relationship with Portia de Rossi didn’t personally resonate with me, DeGeneres was the first out lesbian I encountered in the media, and she made me realize I could live my life as an openly queer woman. However, in the last few weeks, several news reports have alleged that her daytime talk show had a “toxic work environment” that included racial microaggressions as well as sexual misconduct and harassment by her staff. Assuming these allegations are true, WarnerMedia can and should replace DeGeneres with someone queer and Black. Here are eight LGBTQ Black womxn they should consider.


1. Raven Symoné

Raven Symoné

Raven Symoné (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

While you may remember Raven Symoné from her days on Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven, Symoné was also a co-host on ABC’s daytime talk show, The View, and she was absolutely fantastic. In fact, her conversation with co-host Candace Cameron Bure about anti-LGBTQ discrimination inspired me to write a legal research paper on the issue in college.


2. The Ballroom Queens from Pose

Trans actresses of Pose

Cast of Pose (Photo: Entertainment Weekly)

At the helm of the critically acclaimed television show Pose are transgender actors Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, MJ Rodgriguez, Angelica Ross, and Hailie Sahar. While every one of these individuals could replace Ellen in their own right, how amazing would it be to have them all sit on a panel to discuss current issues and vogue!


3. Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes

Actor, Producer & Comedian Wanda Sykes (Photo by Peter Barreras/Variety/REX/Shutterstock, 23 Apr 2019)

A native of the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area and a recipient of GLAAD’s Stephen F. Kolzak award, Wanda Sykes is an absolute no-brainer to replace DeGeneres. While Sykes is both charming and funny, she also has her priorities straight, as she has been an active volunteer for voter registration programs since 2012.


4. Laverne Cox

Actress Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox arrives at the Television Academy’s 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency)

Best known for her role as Sophia Burset on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, transgender actress Laverne Cox has always been vocal about social justice issues, whether it’s the Supreme Court’s attempt to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment or the importance of transgender representation in the media. And she’s been a host already on Lifetime’s Glam Masters.


5. Eboné Bell

Eboné Bell

Eboné Bell (Photo: Cedric Terrell)

Tagg Magazine founder Eboné Bell, who describes herself as “Oprah and Ellen’s illegitimate child,” would make an amazing replacement for DeGeneres. As someone who has worked under Bell for the last year, I can tell you with sincerity that she is funny, knowledgeable, and an absolute pleasure to work for.


6. Samira Wiley

Samira Wiley

Samira Wiley (Photo: Hulu)

An alum of both Orange is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale, Samira Wiley has always been outspoken in her support for LGBTQ youth. When she accepted the Vito Russo Award from GLAAD in 2018, she told LGBTQ youth: “you are loved.” And Wiley, we love you too.


7. Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay (right) appearance on The L Word Generation Q

Roxane Gay (right) appearance on The L Word: Generation (Photo: Showtime)

As someone who once saw Roxane Gay speak live, I could absolutely see her replace DeGeneres, as she provides a level of political and social awareness that DeGeneres just doesn’t have. And as we know from her cameo in the first season of The L Word: Generation Q, Gay is excellent in a talk show environment, even when someone interrupts the show to profess their undying love. Also, her last name is literally GAY.


8. Britanni Nichols

Brittani Nichols

Brittani Nichols (Photo by Robin Roemer)

Comedian, writer, and actor Britanni Nichols is best known for her dark comedy, Suicide Kale, which she wrote, produced, and starred in. Nichols is also a writer on HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, and is extremely woke on social media, where she has been encouraging her followers to take meaningful actions to support the Black community and defund the Los Angeles police.




Becca Damante
Becca Damante
Becca is a Smith college graduate with a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies and an Archives concentration. She has worked and written for non-profits organizations such as Media Matters for America, The Century Foundation, and GLAAD, and loves to write about the intersections between pop culture, politics, and social justice. You can find her at @beccadamante on Twitter.