Ellen DeGeneres’s net worth: Homophobia accusations explained
No one can deny that Ellen DeGeneres is one of the biggest LGBTQ icons. Her charisma is one of her main appeals and she fully exploits that on her show. Ellen DeGeneres’s fame has earned her an estimated $330 million net worth which positions her as one of the richest self-made women in America.
Ellen DeGeneres is an openly gay woman today but she didn’t always have her own platform as a safety blanket. In 1997, Oprah interviewed her after Ellen appeared in the cover of Time magazine under the headline “I’m gay”.
Ellen had to respond to backlash at the show when a member of the audience said her sexuality was being pushed down the public’s throat. It’s remarkable to see how Ellen handled the conflict and even managed to come up with a joke to lighten the mood.
This 1997 interview shows how Ellen DeGeneres had to struggle like other members of the LGBT community. Her coming out experience was probably a valuable lesson that she grew from as she later tried to fight against prejudice in her own show.
Once The Ellen DeGeneres Show aired her fame grew dramatically. She constantly had big celebrities on her show, her interviews were more on the comedic side, and her identity as a lesbian woman was confidently displayed. Along the years, we have seen many of her interviews in which she gives other celebrities a chance to express themselves and get their own version of the facts out there.
For instance, she interviewed Justin Bieber after he posted a video in 2015 in which he apologizes for his bad behavior. It was pretty easy to like Ellen DeGeneres as she seemed relatable — that is until Relatable was released.
In Ellen DeGeneres’s comedy special on Netflix, Ellen acknowledges her huge net worth by making jokes exaggerating her privilege. While she tries to maintain her relatable image, it is hard to identify with her. Sure, we can appreciate the fact that she is aware of her wealth and we can look back at her origins and realize how far she’s come, but that doesn’t cover the fact that she’s just not that relatable anymore.
Now that most of us are still on lockdown, Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that “Being in quarantine is like being in jail. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.”. An unfortunate joke, to say the least. Of course this tweet steered the LGBT community and some of them were quick to respond:
“Nah @TheEllenShow I can gladly share with you the experience of being Queer inside of a prison. Or the 22K @BLACKandPINKorg inside members can share how this is insensitive and minimizing the horrors we* survived.–@dm56892”
The way Ellen DeGeneres allows almost anyone to get a platform is indeed a virtue but it can easily backfire. Now we start to question if letting some celebrities appear in her show means she supports them in some way. Maybe if her interviews were always completely neutral, we could work out a defense for Ellen but there are several cases in which her interviews turn into more of a bullying session.
Some celebrities have handled it like champs but it’s definitely hard to watch the interview in which Ellen repeatedly insinuates Taylor Swift has a constantly active dating life, despite Taylor being visibly uncomfortable. Sometimes celebrities handle Ellen’s hard jokes in a better way like every time Sofia Vergara has been mocked for her Colombian accent. Still, it doesn’t seem like Ellen’s show is even-handed.
Recently, Ellen welcomed Kevin Hart in her show after the scandal regarding Hart’s old homophobic tweets. He only apologized after appearing on Ellen’s show. Even when he didn’t apologize right after the tweets were leaked, nor during Ellen’s interview, Ellen encouraged Hart to become the next Oscars host.
She went as far as insinuating that people who were against having Kevin Hart as a host were “haters” and only part of a minority. This directly affects the members of the LGBT community that are not in favor of having a person who has expressed homophobic opinions host such an important event. It’s hard to feel like the LGBT community’s worries are not being minimized.
What’s more troubling is the fact that this isn’t the first time Ellen DeGeneres has supported a problematic person. Who can forget the time when she appeared hanging out with George Bush himself at a Packers game? At the moment, Ellen downplayed the event but she also admitted that she considers Bush a friend.
Isn’t it weird that a married gay person has a close relationship with someone who has fought against LGBT rights in the past? In 2014, George Bush announced his support for the Federal Marriage Arrangement to “protect marriage”. In other words, Bush was openly against same-sex marriage but Ellen seems to be discarding that information pretty easily.
Along with the claims of her unfair treatment of other marginalized communities, this shows that Ellen has forgotten what it’s like to be a part of an underrepresented group. Ellen no longer seems to represent the LGBT community anymore as it’s harder to turn a blind eye to the people she has chosen to associate with. So much for Ellen DeGeneres being “relatable”.