This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020

This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
1/32
Ellen DeGeneres’ public persona is one of fun, kindness and playfulness. Her eponymous show sees her rewarding everyday heroes with acts of generosity and playing pranks on her famous acquaintances; meanwhile, her motto is: “Be kind to one another.” A growing number of reports suggest that this really isn’t who DeGeneres is at all, though – and that there’s actually a great deal of darkness to her.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
2/32
Of course, DeGeneres has plenty to be happy about. She is one of the best-paid stars on TV, earning a reported $50 million a year, based on the contract for her show – which adds to her fortune of some $330 million. She’s also married to the successful actress Portia De Rossi and has a host of famous friends.
This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
3/32
 
At the 2014 Oscars, DeGeneres took a selfie that set the talk show host among her celebrity pals. Featuring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts – and Kevin Spacey – the image was the most retweeted message of all time at that point. What’s more, it retained that title for another three years.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
4/32
 
DeGeneres has certainly had some hard times, though. In 1997, she was the star of her own sitcom, Ellen. After she came out, the show received a parental advisory warning and was canceled one season later. And at the same time that the star was pushed away from mainstream audiences, she also came under attack from some in the gay community who called on her to be more politically active.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
5/32
 
Following this, a new sitcom floundered in 2001, but it would seem that her life has been on a steady upward trajectory since then. The Ellen DeGeneres Show was a hit with critics and audiences alike from its very first episode. In its first season, the show won the Daytime Emmy Award for both “Outstanding Talk Show” and “Outstanding Talk Show Host” and DeGeneres soon became a fixture of the talk show circuit. And since then, she’s become a superstar.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
6/32
 
poll found that DeGeneres had done more than any other public figure or celebrity to shift America’s views on gay rights. Meanwhile, the star has a whole range of “Be Kind” merchandise available for fans, underlining the positive values espoused on her show. Indeed, the show’s positive ethos has become a core part of its identity.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
7/32
 
Notable features of the show include DeGeneres’ enthusiastic interactions with the audience and the host’s signature dance moves. The audience is often also in line for prizes from the show’s sponsors – and acts of generosity abound. DeGeneres even celebrated a 30th-anniversary reunion by having her graduating class flown to the studio to appear on the show. That’s not to say that it’s all been plain sailing, though.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
8/32
 
Indeed, DeGeneres has certainly had some awkward encounters in the past. For example, she questioned Blake Shelton in December 2019 about why he hadn’t yet gotten engaged to his partner, Gwen Stefani. “Let’s talk about Gwen. I gave you a clock, remember that clock I gave you? To remind you, time is ticking,” DeGeneres said. “But you didn’t give it to me,” Shelton replied.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
9/32
 
“I walked backstage and somebody back there was like, ‘Hey, thanks for being on the show, can I have that?’” Shelton continued. “And they took it. And I haven’t seen it. So time didn’t really start ticking at that moment.” The country singer noted that the prop had later been reused – and it would seem that he was correct, as the same stunt was played for Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
10/32
 
In a November 2019 interview with Dakota Johnson, meanwhile, the host complained that she hadn’t been invited to the star’s birthday party. “Actually, no, that’s not the truth, Ellen,” Johnson replied. A crew member then confirmed that Johnson was correct – DeGeneres had been invited, though she hadn’t attended. But the complaint didn’t come out of the blue.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
11/32
 
“Last year, on the show, you gave me a bunch of shit for not inviting you,” Johnson recalled. In the previous appearance, DeGeneres had pointedly questioned Johnson about whether she was pregnant and had expressed disappointment that she hadn’t been included in a surprise party. The encounter seemed like the stuff of high school rivalries – as well as exhibiting some disingenuousness on DeGeneres’s part.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
12/32
 
This followed a feature interview with The New York Times titled, “Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think.” At the time, what was being reported about DeGeneres seemed relatively innocuous. “There’s been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like, ‘You’re not dancing!’” DeGeneres said. “Of course I’m not dancing; I’m walking down the street.” The TV host also addressed her on-screen persona.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
13/32
 
“The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk show host,” she explained. “There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.” Things became more tense, however, when the interviewer addressed stories of meanness. DeGeneres dismissed this perception saying, “It’s an outright lie.” She then connected the point to how she runs her show.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
14/32
 
And it would seem that she was keen to explain. “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,’” she said. “No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That’s the rule to this day.” It would seem that others had a different take on similar details, though.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
15/32

Things began to go really wrong for Ellen in late March 2020. Kevin T. Porter, a comedian, TV producer and ex-employee, took to Twitter, writing, “[Ellen is] notoriously one of the meanest people alive.” What’s more, he invited his followers to share “the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean.”

 

This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
16/32
Adding to that, he promised a $2 donation to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank for every story that he was sent. And people didn’t hold back. Chris Farah said that she had served Ellen at vegan L.A. restaurant Real Food Daily. “[Ellen] wrote a letter to the owner and complained about my chipped nail polish,” Farah noted. “I had worked ’til closing the night before and this was [the] next [morning], [and she] almost got me fired.” And Farah was not alone in reporting a bad experience.


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
17/32
“Hoo boy, I have a few [stories],” began Josh Levesque, who works for Universal Studios Hollywood. “A friend of mine told me about a custodian she knew who was fired [because] he was slightly autistic and forgot he wasn’t allowed to look at or speak to her, and he loved greeting everyone.”


This Is Why Ellen Became The Biggest Villain of 2020
18/32