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.
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:
“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.