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DEGENERATION GAP

To be honest, even though I’m a loyal, consistent, four-year reader, I have never enjoyed an issue of EW as much as your double issue for the Best of 1997 (#411/412, Dec. 26/Jan. 2). Congratulations on a superb job. JANE DAVIS Long Beach, Calif.

I was very excited that EW voted Ellen DeGeneres as the 1997 Entertainer of the Year. This has been a monumental year for Ms. DeGeneres. She has, as you suggest, become a ”poster girl – not for lesbianism, but for honesty.” Thanks for recognizing Ellen’s many talents and her positive influence on the evolving discussion of diversity and inclusion. DR. WILLIAM S. FRIEND PFLAG National Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Choosing Ellen DeGeneres as Entertainer of the Year is a contradiction in terms; you even admit that this choice was more for her ”honesty” than her comedy. I think Ellen works in one of the most politically correct industries in the country. Her show was not a major hit. She had nothing to lose by coming out – only millions of dollars’ worth of publicity and media fawning to gain. Where’s the bravery there? LISA SWAN Austin, Tex.

As a devoted EW subscriber, I anxiously await the arrival of the year-end issue. This year was no different – until I saw that you had bestowed the title of Entertainer of the Year upon Ellen DeGeneres. Despite your assertation that this title was not earned through her lesbianism, I think that this is her sole claim to the honor. Besides, if someone were going to be hailed for their off-camera courage, why not give the accolades to Bill Cosby? He has had a most trying year, with the murder of his son and Autumn Jackson’s extortion attempt. Cosby handled these situations and himself with a quiet dignity that I have yet to see in Ellen, the woman, or Ellen, the show. J. C. Winston-Salem, N.C.

SIMPLY THE BEST?

Your issue on the Best of 1997 was excellent, except for a few points….

Where was The Ice Storm on the Best of Movies? And matchbox 20 with one of the worst albums? ANDREW W. JANETZKE janetzke@juno.com Fairmont, Minn.

I think you left out one very special guy: Leonardo DiCaprio. SARAH BOE boe10@juno.com Aliquippa, Pa.

How could you guys forget Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess), Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita), or Ally Walker (Profiler)? CARRIE MILLS MerelyMe78@aol.com Novato, Calif.

No mention of the year’s musical success story, Jewel? RICK GOULD Interlochen, Mich.

May you be forgiven for your deranged review of The Saint. CHERYLL GRIGGS Sparks, Okla.

A CLEAN PATE

In the Style section of your Best of 1997 issue, you said that the worst movie look was ”Demi Moore’s bald dome in G.I. Jane.” As a teenage cancer patient, I am also bald as a result of my treatment and appreciate Ms. Moore’s willingness to shave her head for the role, helping spread the message that women can still be considered beautiful even without a full head of hair. ANNEKA MCMILLAN annekam@ix.netcom.com San Diego

CORRECTION: Ice Cube’s character is one of Anaconda’s lucky survivors (The Year That Was).