Ellen DeGeneres’ reputation is in a free fall, and considering how respected the talk show host once was, she has a long way to drop. But even amid serious allegations, DeGeneres‘ celebrity friends are eager to support her. Stars like Katy Perry and Kevin Hart rushed to her defense. Too bad the public isn’t going along.
DeGeneres has been the host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003, and was generally believed to be a kind, and loving person. She gained public support after coming out as a lesbian in 1997, and has since been touted as a hero to the LGBTQ+ community. Her personal motto is “Be Kind,” and she’s donated extensively to those in need.
Unfortunately, her loving reputation may have all been part of the show. In mid-July, BuzzFeed published an article which claimed that The Ellen DeGeneres Show was a toxic work environment. The piece included multiple statements from former employees who claimed to have been treated unfairly. They described an atmosphere of racism, fear, and intimidation.
“I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show’s brand,” said one former employee. “They pull on people’s heartstrings; they do know that’s going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that’s not always reality.”
After the piece was published, more people came forward with terrible stories about the way they were treated on-set, or by DeGeneres herself. In fact, it seems that tension around her brand has been building for months.
“Working for her, I was instructed that I can’t look her in the eye and never ever say hi to her first,” one person wrote in response to Porter’s tweet. “‘But don’t worry, she definitely won’t be saying hi to you in the first place.’ She creates the most toxic environment for her staff.”
While horror stories around DeGeneres increased exponentially, many of the talk show host’s A-list friends came out in her support. Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, Diane Keaton, Jay Leno, and controversial music manager Scooter Braun are some of the celebrities who posted supportive messages about DeGeneres on their social media accounts.
“I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow…” Perry wrote as part of a series of tweets defending DeGeneres.
But even with Hollywood endorsement, the public wasn’t jumping to forgive DeGeneres.
Critics aren’t buying celebrity support for Ellen DeGeneres
Most of the celebrities who tweeted in support received a wave of backlash. Fans rightly pointed out that the treatment a celebrity, or guest, receives on the show isn’t going to be the same as someone who works for her.
One person responded to Perry’s tweet with a suggested edit, crossing everything out except the words, “I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own.”
Leno supported DeGeneres because of her charity donations. “…The Ellen I know has raised over $125 million dollars for charity and has always been a kind and decent person. I fully support her,” he tweeted.
Fans found his comments laughable. Just because someone donates money, doesn’t mean they’re a good person, especially when DeGeneres is one of the highest paid celebrities in the world.
The talk show host herself promoted Leno’s tweet with sarcasm, writing “It is normal that Jay Leno knows exactly how much money I have raised for charity. Thanks Jay!”
Actually, it’s pretty normal considering anyone can find out that information with a simple Google search. But that wasn’t the only problem the public had with Leno’s tweet. One woman claimed Leno may have even received that information from a digital campaign packet.
“As someone who does digital strategy, I can recognize a digital campaign when I see one. These fools received an “I Love Ellen” toolkit via google drive full of tweets they could copy and paste and here we are…” @KiaSpeaks tweeted.
According to Dummies, digital marketing campaigns include “coordinated actions intended to achieve a specific business goal.” They are often given out by businesses or promotion companies of any kind, including celebrity promotion. So, it’s highly possible that DeGeneres’ team sent out a packet to help repair her reputation. But of course, we’ll never know for sure.
One thing is certain, fans aren’t falling for celebrity endorsment of DeGeneres. There are just too many stories of bad behavior from her, and her senior staff, to brush under the rug anymore. We may never see DeGeneres return to her elevated position.
Is Ellen DeGeneres Mean? Her Jokes At Sofia Vergara’s Expense Would Suggest So
Ellen DeGeneres has fallen in a lot of hot water recently. While she was once beloved for her wholesome persona and openness about her sexual orientation, many celebrities have come out and said that her persona masks a habit of bullying and being mean behind the scenes.
On top of other celebrities who have spoken up about her poor behavior, people who worked behind the scenes have also spoken about being mistreated and verbally abused. Many people were taken aback by these revelations. However, other people realized that there had been incidents in the past that may have revealed the true Ellen. Was Ellen this mean all along?
Sofia Vergara has been working in television almost as long as DeGeneres. She got her start on the Univisión in the 1990s before taking English-language roles in the 2000s.
In 2009, she was cast as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the ABC sitcom Modern Family, and from there, her fame exploded. By 2012 she became the highest-paid actress on television and kept receiving massive pay for her acting work.
However, Vergara’s story is bigger than her acting. Vergara comes from Colombia, a country that has faced political strife and violence for years. While Vergara’s family was relatively well-off, this did not mean that they never faced hardship.
In 1998, Vergara’s older brother, Rafael, was killed in an attempted kidnapping. This murder was never solved.
Regardless, Sofia Vergara took this as a sign to stay and do her work in the United States, where she would be safer. While Vergara does not frequently discuss her brother, she has talked about her grief and pain occasionally, like in a recent episode of America’s Got Talent.
Less than five years later, Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Fortunately, she was able to have her thyroid removed and the cancer has not spread or caused other problems. But there are complications that come from having a thyroid removed, and Vergara has had to keep on top of medication and frequent doctor’s visits to ensure her continued health.
Vergara has been a regular guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her first appearance was in 2010. Vergara’s native language is Spanish, and while her grasp of English is strong, her voice demonstrates her Colombian heritage. Because of this, DeGeneres — the two are both spokespeople for Cover Girl and have appeared in ads together — had Vergara perform a public prank that involved her heavy accent.
This is not the only time that DeGeneres has used Vergara’s accent for comedy. In another episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres jokingly “taught” Vergara English words, even though Vergara is fluent in English. In other clips, DeGeneres would make fun of how Vergara pronounced certain words, and mimic the pronunciations to her face.
While these incidents were spread out over the years, they do show a pattern. And after the revelations about DeGeneres being less kind and wholesome than she presented herself, fans of Vergara looked back and are empowered to voice concerns about how DeGeneres made jokes about Vergara’s accent.
Vergara does has a sense of humor about her accent. However, when put together, the clips with DeGeneres and Vergara seem to show DeGeneres laughing at Vergara about her accent, not with her.
Fans pointed out: “If anybody said those things in real-life settings, nobody would be laughing.” They also said that the way that DeGeneres joked about Vergara’s accent was more “cringeworthy” than anything.
In these clips, what many people saw was a white American making jokes at the expense of a Latina woman’s accent. It’s also a privileged and tone-deaf joke — not to mention mean-spirited, the antithesis of DeGeneres’ “kind” brand — considering Vergara doesn’t owe anyone fluent English, as she is fluent in her native tongue.
Whether DeGeneres holds racist views is debatable. She’s criticized President Donald Trump for anti-immigration policies in the past, but she has not said anything about how she herself treated Vergara, an immigrant woman.
Even if DeGeneres has said that she is against people “being treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded,” these past episodes in combination with the current investigation has made many fans see her as hypocritical. If anything, it spotlights how celebrities (and people) can be champions of some social causes, but still have problematic views.