‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’: All the times Ellen was terrible to guests
Ellen DeGeneres has had a tough go of it recently as accusation after accusation of being not-so-secretly mean have been piling up since October of 2019. In fact, her show has recently seen such a dramatic drop in viewership that if the numbers don’t improve, the ratings would be grounds for NBC to cancel The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Not only have some of the people who worked for her come forward, but celebrities have too. They’ve talked about the unusual and rude things which have happened off camera when appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. With so many anecdotes from so many different people it gets hard to remain skeptical of what people are saying.
Though we’ll never have footage to prove what she’s like off camera, we can take a look at clips from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which have occasionally shown DeGeneres in a less than stellar light.
Dakota Johnson in 2019
In November of 2019 Dakota Johnson was a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Ellen starts the interview clip by saying “happy belated birthday – when was your birthday?” Johnson informs her interviewer it was a month ago, to which Ellen asks why she wasn’t invited to the party.
Dakota’s response is that Ellen was invited. Degeneres looks shocked and repeatedly presses Johnson on whether she’s sure. Johnson continues to pull receipts saying DeGeneres had previously given her crap for not getting birthday party invites, so, yes, she’s sure. They continue their spat on live television and Johnson even tells DeGeneres she didn’t know the host liked her.
The entire interview, while being played for laughs to the live audience, is fraught with awkward and passive aggressive energy. However, it looks like Johnson fully expected DeGeneres to come for her and was more than ready for a weird interview. Even the comments on the video are all very weirded out by the clip.
Hasan Minhaj in 2019
Minhaj is a very popular comedian, and had his first appearance (maybe his last) on The Ellen DeGeneres show in April of last year. Ellen starts by saying how much she’s a fan of him and then immediately mispronounces his name.
Minhaj says “no” to which DeGeneres has the audacity to fight him on it and replies “yes”. He tells her how to say it . . . and then she gets it wrong again. He takes a serious moment to explain to people his name is important to him and his parents who are in the audience, and yet DeGeneres doesn’t seem to take him entirely seriously.
Not taking the five minutes to Google the pronunciation of a guest’s name is embarrassing, since it’s her job. Especially when she can have an intern do it and relay the information to her.
An audience member in 2017
In 2017 DeGeneres started a segment by saying she wanted to see how honest her audience was. She set up a swag table where members of the live audience could take one Ellen branded item as a free gift.
However, when someone inevitably took more than one item, the hidden cameras caught her and Ellen DeGeneres shamed her for doing the very thing she set out to catch someone doing. It was completely a setup.
The guest is clearly uncomfortable for being called out on national television, but does her best to play it off as funny by slapping her own hand a couple times. DeGeneres even makes her go up on stage and sit in the corner in a timeout-esque situation.
Taylor Swift in 2013
A lot of these examples are more recent, but the long running DeGeneres show has had questionable moments for a long time. One of the most heartbreaking occurred in an interview with Taylor Swift where she looks nearly ready to burst into tears.
DeGeneres wants to play a game where the Swift (who has been known to have a number of high profile romances over the years) to ring a bell whenever a picture of a guy she has dated shows up on the big screen.
Swift refuses to play for many minutes saying she doesn’t want to upset anyone. Eventually Ellen just starts ringing the bell herself and Swift desperately cries for DeGeneres to stop saying it makes her feel bad about herself every time she comes on the show. This is the most obvious case of bullying we’ve seen on the show.
There are countless other video clips of DeGeneres not listening to guests, blowing them off, or otherwise being rude to them. Not to mention some of her guests genuinely don’t enjoy her frequent attempts to scare them. However, these are some of the most obvious and uncomfortable clips to watch.