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Ellen DeGeneres’ Hidden Real Estate Empire

Not many people know about Ellen DeGeneres’ extensive real estate dealings, a source of both fun and profit for her and her wife, Portia De Rossi.

TV

Is The ‘Ellen Appeal’ Starting to Fade?

Ellen DeGeneres certainly wasn’t prepared for the backlash she received after inviting Dakota Johnson to her show.

Following on from a year of criticism, DeGeneres asked about Johnson’s recent birthday party, asking her “how was the party? I wasn’t invited.” Clearly expecting an apology, DeGeneres looks surprised when Johnson replies “actually no, that’s not the truth Ellen, you were invited.” Johnson then went on to explain that DeGeneres had given her a lot of hassle the previous year for not being invited so she had made sure she was invited this year, and she did not come.

DeGeneres then continued to question Johnson asking, “this time you invited me? Are you sure? How do you know, I don’t think so.”

Clearly expecting Johnson to backtrack, DeGeneres looks shocked when Johnson told her to “ask everybody…ask Jonathan your producer.” Off screen, Jonathan confirms Johnson’s story, and DeGeneres then states she did not go because she “had that thing.”

While social media went mad about the awkward conversation — and the clip going viral — some online detectives dug deeper to find out where DeGeneres was. And it was not a pleasant discovery as her location was the subject of a previous issue DeGeneres had to deal with earlier in the year: a day at a football match with ‘war criminal’ George W. Bush.

Ellen DeGeneres has been the epitome of niceness throughout her 25 year career, first as a stand-up comedian, which followed her ground-breaking sitcom and finally, her current role as chat show host. However people, especially those in Los Angeles, are starting to wonder if all is as it seems.

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Rumors have been floating around for some time that DeGeneres’ personality is far more insincere than that of her on-screen persona. This is not something that would be a major issue if not for the fact she portrays herself as someone who is immensely liked throughout the industry, the American public, and the world, thanks to her ‘niceness.’

However this aspect of DeGeneres has been questioned several times over the years, moreso this year than any other in recent times. It has been commented that DeGeneres has wrapped herself in a bubble that seems to be withdrawing her from the actualities of what is happening around her.

And in a shocking turn of events, it seems that many internet users feel such a great depth of animosity that there is a high level of satisfaction at DeGeneres being ‘put in her place’ on her own show.

With the rise of awareness surrounding mental health issues — DeGeneres has talked a lot about her own troubles with depression — it is worrying to see so many people wanting DeGeneres to be humiliated in public, even if, as some say, it was a reaction to her seemingly trying to embarrass Johnson in the first place.

Many people are asking how someone who has done so much good work ensuring homosexuality is portrayed positively in the mainstream, someone who is incredibly gifted at their trade – both on television and in film – appears to have become so out of touch with her adoring fans?

Following rumors of her being mean to members of her staff, DeGeneres denied everything in an interview:

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“It’s an outright lie. The first day I said ‘The one thing I want is everyone here to be happy and proud of where they work, and if not, don’t work here.’ No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That’s the rule to this day.”

While this has been seen to be a rule that encourages happiness within her staff, it can also be interpreted that if you are not proud of where you work you will be fired.

However, she has admitted that her on-screen personality is far nicer than her off-screen stating “the talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host. There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.” That tiny bit of difference was apparent when she clearly felt defensive over Johnson’s responses.

Yet this is not the first time this year DeGeneres has faced criticism, in fact it is not even the second. Back in January Kevin Hart was asked to step down from hosting the Oscars after homophobic jokes were discovered in his past stand-up shows. The comedian and actor came under fire due to his joke that if he caught his son playing with a dolls house he would smash it over his head as it would be a sign that he was gay.

Following the widespread criticism he received, DeGeneres tried to claim that the outrage was merely ‘internet trolls’ being unkind, something that surprised everyone, especially considering the amount of pain she had to deal with following the fall out of her announcing she was gay in 1997. Petitions to have ABC cancel her sitcom, merely because she was gay, as well as being called ‘Ellen Degenerate’ caused her to experience public rejection, something she has had difficulties overcoming.

DeGeneres also experienced severe criticism over her friendship with George W. Bush with many slating her choice of friends. However, her comment that “just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not going to be friends with them” also received praise, including a hastily deleted tweet from Reese Witherspoon.

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Ellen DeGeneres Draws Criticism for Friendship with George W. Bush

On Sunday, Ellen DeGeneres drew attention for what seemed to be an unlikely occurrence: she was spotted in a suite at AT&T Stadium watching a football game while seated next to none other than former President George W. Bush. Initial reactions to the pairing were ones of humorous bewilderment; it seemed inconceivable that DeGeneres, a Hollywood liberal who is happily married to her wife Portia de Rossi, would be so close with a President who infamously supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being a union between one man and one woman. 

This surprise turned into outrage as Twitter users argued that Bush, responsible for starting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in fact a war criminal whom DeGeneres ought not associate herself with. The controversy, which continues to unfold even after DeGeneres addressed the criticism by urging kindness among people with political disagreements, speaks to the increased polarization of modern American culture and raises questions about the role of celebrity in shaping the image of politicians even after they leave office.

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Adopting her trademark cheeriness and sunny disposition, DeGeneres sought to downplay criticisms of her friendship with the former president by stressing the importance of remaining civil even with people who don’t “think the same way you do,” and asserted that it’s okay not to share beliefs with people whom you consider to be your friends. Reaction to DeGeneres’ monologue were split; while many viewers applauded the talk show host for her willingness to extend an olive branch across the ideological divide that characterizes much of American political life, other, more vocal critics accused DeGeneres of leveraging her privilege as a celebrity to whitewash Bush’s image when she had an obligation to instead call him out for his crimes. 

This is but one criticism of the event; other denizens of the Internet pointed out, in detail, the former president’s long history of advocating policies that discriminate against LGBTQ people, and some argued that DeGeneres’ philosophy of kindness was ill-suited to the modern political era. The general consensus among internet thinkpiece authors was that DeGeneres enjoyed the privilege and freedom of being able to maintain friendships with people who represent harmful political ideologies because her celebrity status protects her from the consequences of these ideologies.

The fact that several other celebrities, including Kristen Bell, Blake Shelton, and Reese Witherspoon quickly took to social media to rush to DeGeneres’ defense did little to satisfy critics who saw DeGeneres’ friendship as an example of how celebrity privilege can whitewash criminal behavior. Rather, these same critics interpreted this wave of celebrity defenses as an example of class unity, as rather than engaging with the arguments of people with genuine political grievances, the celebrities simply protected a member of their tribe.

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That being said, a handful of celebrities were among those voicing their dissent. On Twitter, Mark Ruffalo suggested that “we can’t even begin to talk about kindness” until Bush was “brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War,” among which he claimed were “American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars—emotional & otherwise—inflicted on our military that served his folly.” And Susan Sarandon, quoting a piece from out.com, suggested that Degeneres’ lighthearted framing of her friendship with Bush was disingenuous, as she treated the former president as someone of differing opinions rather than acknowledging his numerous accusations of being a war criminal.

Whether or not one considers DeGeneres’ handling of the controversy to be responsible, the episode has opened up a broader conversation about celebrity privilege and how fame enables even members of marginalized groups to tacitly support oppression under the guise of friendship. While DeGeneres and her allies would argue in favor of reconciliation between political groups as an opportunity for healing during an era of extreme partisanship, those who are on the receiving end of political oppression would beg to differ.