Ellen DeGeneres’s wife: Portia’s de Rossi’s problematic history
Ellen DeGeneres may have established herself as a household name in the past two decades, but that’s not to say her wife, Portia de Rossi, is any stranger to the spotlight. The Australian-American model and actress has appeared in a variety of well-known TV shows and films – Nip/Tuck, Arrested Development, and Scream 2 to name a few.
Ellen and Portia have been a known pairing since back in 2005, when being an open lesbian couple still caused quite a controversy in the media. The two were married in 2008 and are still going strong, enjoying both life at home and making millions of dollars buying and selling houses together.
But as it’s the unofficial year of the celebrity deep dive, we can’t help but note something else about the glamorous Portia de Rossi: a somewhat problematic history of her own.
When the cast of Arrested Development came together for a New York Times interview, the ensemble featured only two of the three female characters who make up the nine-person main cast – missing was Portia de Rossi.
The interview reached the subject of allegations against Jeffrey Tambor who plays George Bluth on the show. The conversation included accounts of sexual and verbal harassment by female co-stars on such shows as Transparent, a show from which Tambor was fired.
Despite many – particularly male – co-stars standing behind Tambor, the minority female cast – including Portia – have had a hard time coming to terms with his actions. Arrested Development cast members like Jessica Walter were particularly upset by Tambor’s demeanor and verbal tirades, although dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct on their set.
Portia was absent from the interview, but had little to no verbal reaction in support of her female cast member, despite reportedly standing against Tambor’s actions.
Even male cast members like Jason Bateman took only a short time to reflect after hearing the interview played back, realizing their own lack of support and recognition for the visibly upset Walter. He immediately used social media to reconcile his initial lack of response – it was unclear why Portia de Rossi didn’t do the same.
Portia de Rossi stands firm and silent
Another recent sore spot for Portia are the accusations against her wife, Ellen “Queen of Mean” DeGeneres. Despite astonishing accounts of insensitivity against the talk show host – her coldness, rudeness, and diva-like demands of her staff – Portia de Rossi has not come out to publicly address any of the criticisms.
Although not standing up for Ellen’s behavior, neither does Poria defend any of the accusers. Portia refrains even from jokes on the matter, walking a tightrope of silence. It’s reported that Ellen is simply grateful for her wife to just be staying with her, and whether Portia truly reciprocates, we are only granted silence.
In an interview this June with Us Weekly, Portia tackled some of the rumors regarding a possible divorce between her and Ellen. Instead of taking a definitive stance – or addressing her thoughts on the issues brought to light – she instead acts pleased just to be treated “as every celebrity couple.”
For someone not shy about being amidst controversy, Portia proudly appears to not care about anything other than feeling like a normal, “accepted” part of Hollywood.
Portia de Rossi: Ellen’s silent partner
Regarding Portia de Rossi’s idealization of “normalcy,” the actress has faced scrutiny in the past for the way she historically and presently represents the gay community.
Portia was so hesitant about “coming out” in the early 2000s, that she admits never being truly “transparent” about her sexuality until only briefly before her marriage to Ellen.
Portia describes having been extremely “nervous” at the 2004 Golden Globes due to the amount of press coverage and her being seen openly in her relationship. And in an interview with Good Morning America in 2013, she discusses how much she struggled with her sexuality, admitting: “I just didn’t want to be gay.”
Although there is no question regarding the pressure Portia felt about living openly – not to mention the bravery it took at the time – it still raises eyebrows for some just how silent Portia has been over the years.
With such a platform to help change and advance the gay community she now embraces, why does Portia remain so silent? Especially with how accepting and promoting her wife Ellen has been for the same community over the last two decades.
Portia’s problematic history of silence
While we can point out that Portia has not been involved in any dire scandals that have been dug up – yet – she still possesses a clear history that revolves around a single problem: silence.
Portia de Rossi has lived a life floating around bubbles of controversy, tending to sit firmly on the fence as issues come and go.
The revelation of just how inactive Portia can be has certainly struck an ill chord with some fans and followers. And although not among the worst behavior to come out of Hollywood in 2020, we are hoping people like Portia use their celebrity to voice change – not further complacency.