Lily Tomlin on Why She Chose Not to Come Out on a Magazine Cover Like Ellen DeGeneres

Lily Tomlin is reflecting on a different time in Hollywood.

Lily Tomlin is reflecting on a different time in Hollywood.

The 79-year-old actress appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with her Grace and Frankie co-star, Jane Fonda -- airing Tuesday -- and was asked by DeGeneres about reports that she turned down the opportunity to come out as gay on the 1975 cover of Time magazine. DeGeneres famously came out more than 20 years later on a 1997 cover of Time, which read, "Yep, I'm Gay."

Tomlin confirmed she was offered the cover, and also acknowledged the backlash DeGeneres received when she came out.  

"Pat Kingsley called me, who was my publicist ... she told me that Time would give me the cover if I would come out," Tomlin recalled. "It was a hard decision to make, so I fell down on the side of probably -- after what you went through -- probably good sense. And my God, all that time passed, so I decided that I just wasn't going to play their game."

"And I wanted to be acknowledged for my performance ... I can see in retrospect that was hardly worth it," she continued to joke.

Tomlin has been married to her wife, writer Jane Wagner, since 2013. The couple has been together for almost 50 years.  

"We did, but it wasn't allowed, you know," she said of finally getting married after decades together.

Meanwhile, when Fonda was asked about her own dating life, the 81-year-old actress cracked, "I'm going to come out. If they put me the cover of Time, I'll come out."

Fonda and Tomlin recently revealed the secrets to their youthfulness. Watch the video below for more: