The most problematic episodes of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’: A guide
She may be popular & loved by many, but Ellen DeGeneres is a controversial person. The waves of controversy are rising so high now, that even her loving & kind character has become dubious.
At present, she’s mired in controversies – from her insensitive remarks equating quarantining in a mansion to prison, to her bullying of her The Ellen DeGeneres Show guests, to the recent spate of toxic workplace allegations.
Looks like a befitting time to look back at all the times her show sparked, facilitated, or normalized problematic narratives. Here goes.
When the show became a platform for Kevin Hart non-apology
This outrage happened in early 2019. Kevin Hart had to step down from his role as the host of the Academy Awards that year. This was in light of some homophobic remarks made by him that’d resurfaced on Twitter when he was announced as the host. People weren’t happy with giving him – and his ideas– a platform as momentous as the Oscars.
That’s when Ellen popped in, made some calls – like the power abuser she is – and gave Kevin a platform on her show to talk about how the issue was impacting him emotionally. She staunchly supported him.
Her exact words? “As a gay person, I am sensitive to all of that, and I talked to you about all of this, and you’ve already expressed that it’s not being educated on the subject, not realizing how dangerous those words are, not realizing how many kids are killed for being gay, or beaten up every day.”
She basically gave him a clean pass, like she’s the supreme authority on what the community can or can’t get angered on, “You have grown, you have apologized, you are apologizing again right now. You’ve done it. Don’t let those people win. Host the Oscars.” The problem with this narrative, however, was that the people calling him out weren’t haters.
Secondly, she seemed to be enabling homophobic people because she felt she was the spokesperson for the entire LGBTQ+ community, having lost a lot because of coming out in the 90s & whatnot. The worst part of this was that Kevin never really apologized. Instead, he conveniently played victim.
He came on the show & played on the emotional toll of the Twitter vitriol, “That’s a malicious attack on my character. That’s an attack to end me.” It was a distasteful episode & the accompanying Twitter outrage seemed justified.
When Ellen, Nicole Kidman, and Giada De Laurentiis stepped into the kitchen
In 2017, Ellen along with her female guests stepped into the kitchen for a fun game, except neither of them seemed to be having any fun.
Big Little Lies star Kidman & famed Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis would’ve hit it off, had it not been for the awkward segment. De Laurentiis was supposed to teach Kidman a few of her favorite Italian recipes. Things didn’t go down very well, tension escalated & eventually Kidman was left with no option but to channel her rage into a side-eyed stare.
Laurentiis returned to the show on the pretext of salvaging the disaster, at which Ellen didn’t spare a breath before joking at Kidman’s expense, “Last time you were here, we had a few hiccups. It was Nicole Kidman’s fault.” That’s basically how to make enemies 101.
Wendy Williams pointing out similarities with Justin Bieber
We can go on & on about how awful Ellen can be to her guests, but sometimes the guests have a great sword in their armor. For Ellen, this came from Wendy Williams who likened Ellen to Justin Bieber.
How did this come up? Wendy was sharing her music choices when her statement took a weird segue, “As much as I want to not like him, I love his new song, and he really is cute. Some people say that he looks like you.”
As if this wasn’t awkward enough – and as if she wanted to give Ellen a taste of her own medicine – she went ahead to engage the audience on the matter, “I’ve heard that. You’ve never heard that? They say it in a good way.” We just think it was quite distasteful.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has had its fair share of problematic episodes. Here’s our article focusing on all the most cringeworthy interviews.