Is Ellen DeGeneres mean? Here’s a timeline of her fall from grace
Ellen DeGeneres has been a household name for decades now. Being best known for her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, her name was usually associated with stay-at-home-moms or the days you stayed homesick. Everyone knew her as an exuberant woman who loved to dance, play pranks, and give gifts.
However, DeGeneres’s image has slowly deteriorated over the span of nearly a year. It has now gotten to the point where rumors about DeGeneres stepping away from her show are starting to swirl – along with NBC potentially keeping the show, and putting in a replacement host.
If you’re one of the people who are just now learning about the world’s question of “Is Ellen DeGeneres mean?” we’ve put together a timeline of how the pedestal she stood on for so long came crashing down.
October of 2019
The first smudge on DeGeneres’s pristine image came in October of 2019, when a photo was taken of her at a football game. Up in the massively expensive seats sat not just DeGeneres, but former president George W. Bush. The two were shown chatting and laughing.
This only upset a lot of people who hate Bush and the things he did as president. They thought it seemed strange DeGeneres would be willing to spend time with someone like him since her political interests didn’t match with his.
DeGeneres acknowledged the moment on her show and did a convincing monologue on how we should “be nice” to everyone. No matter how convincing though, some people were still mad. This seemed, at the time, to be a one-off instance.
Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! 😊❤️
She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive
Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 20, 2020
March of 2020
Not much happened between October and March – everyone went on with their lives, including DeGeneres herself. But then, on March 20th Kevin T. Porter made a Tweet saying, “Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! 😊❤️ She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive. Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank”
The slew of answers coming in were shocking for anyone who hadn’t had an encounter with Ellen DeGeneres themselves. Stories came out saying she wouldn’t allow people to look her in the eyes, that she had demanded the studio next to hers stop grilling steaks because DeGeneres is vegan (note, she wasn’t invited to this steak party), and that she would send people home if she felt they had bad breath.
The encounters weren’t just behind-the-scenes on The Ellen DeGeneres Show though. One woman said DeGeneres and her wife Portia de Rossi came into the restaurant she waitressed at, and was subsequently almost fired because Ellen DeGeneres complained the woman had chipped nail polish.
Kevin T. Porter’s Twitter bio now includes “I threw the first brick at Ellenwall”.
Also in March, the English speaking internet became aware of YouTuber NikkieTutorials’s story about DeGeneres. Nikkie went onto a Dutch talk show where she admitted DeGeneres wasn’t very kind to her and didn’t even say hello before the interview.
Nikkie also described how other guests were treated better than her – she wasn’t even allowed to use the bathroom closest to her dressing room because it was “reserved for the Jonas Brothers”. Other celebrities have since come forward with their own stories.
April of 2020
Shortly after the Twitter debacle, Ellen DeGeneres began doing her talk show from home because of California’s lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic. On her first show back DeGeneres made a joke about quarantine being like a prison.
People did not like this joke. People thought it was incredibly insensitive for someone in a multi-million dollar mansion to be comparing stay-at-home procedures (in order to not get sick) to being in prison.
Especially since it was at a time when there were serious concerns about COVID-19 spreading easily in prisons.
June of 2019
In June people started to notice the ratings of The Ellen DeGeneres Show were beginning to drop rather drastically. (They’ve since continued to drop even further.)
This wasn’t helped by the fact former employees of DeGeneres’s show were starting to come forward with their own horror stories of what it was like working in an environment that was toxic & unfair.
People were also starting to learn DeGeneres had hired a non-union group to help her produce the at-home version of her show, instead of contacting some of her current employees. In fact, employees didn’t hear anything about pay or working hours for a month after they closed the set. They would also later be informed they were taking massive pay cuts.
July of 2020
This is when employee bombshells really started flying. These stories mostly pointed fingers at the executive producers, but people were confused as to why DeGeneres would allow such behavior from anyone on her show.
Employees described favoritism, racism, and even sexual misconduct happening behind-the-scenes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. People who would try to recommend more inclusive language be used on the show were reprimanded and deemed “the PC police”. Warner Brothers also began an investigation of the show to corroborate these reports.
While these reports were coming out from both current and former employees the viewership of The Ellen DeGeneres Show continued to tank. The daytime show once boasted a proud 2.0 rating (meaning about 2% of all U.S. households were watching). As of July DeGeneres’s show was seeing less viewership for its new episodes than reruns of LIVE with Kelly and Ryan.
August may have only just started, but already the story has continued. There are rumors DeGeneres is considering stepping away from her show after the numerous workplace harassment reports have come to light. One source is quoted saying of DeGeneres, “She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show.”
However, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has a contract with NBC to continue through 2022. So, then rumors started to fly (for unknown reasons) that James Corden was being considered as a replacement host. To which the internet said, “Why not Ellen Page?”
It’s an on-going story
These are (most) of the reasons Ellen DeGeneres has now been named “The Queen of Mean” by the internet, though new details keep popping up. DeGeneres’s sparkly persona has taken quite the fall from grace – it’s less of a trip on the sidewalk situation and more of a long bumpy tumble down the side of a mountain at this point. We’re not so sure DeGeneres can just walk this one off anymore.