How Ellen suddenly became TV villain
Reports emerged this week Ellen DeGeneres was "at the end of her rope" over a slew of mean allegations that have been hurled at the TV host.
And it's no wonder. The list of claims from former staffers, guests of her talk show and even her own personal bodyguard are racking up.
As one fan pointed out on Twitter, "2020 has been the demise of her facade" following countless stories of her "cold" demeanour.
They’ve been dragging Ellen all year. 2020 has been the demise of her facade. Disappointing https://t.co/05SMPMstZt— Dear Ashley... (@asj519) May 3, 2020
Here's a wrap-up of everything that has gone wrong for the talk show host this year.
CONTROVERSIAL DAKOTA JOHNSON INTERVIEW
American actress Dakota Johnson, of Fifty Shades Of Grey fame, sat down with DeGeneres, 62, on her talk show, The Ellen Show, for a chat in December last year.
Things got off to a frosty start when DeGeneres mentioned Johnson's recent 30th birthday.
"Happy belated birthday," DeGeneres said. "How was the party? I wasn't invited."
As the audience laughed, Johnson replied sternly, "Actually, no, that's not the truth, Ellen. You were invited."
Johnson told DeGeneres she made sure to invite her to her party this year because she gave her "a bunch of sh*t" last year when she didn't receive an invite to her party.
"I did invite you and you didn't come," Johnson repeated.
DeGeneres was sceptical at first: "This time you invited me? Are you sure? I don't think so."
"Ask everybody," Johnson said. "Ask Jonathan, your producer."
DeGeneres looked off camera at her producer who confirmed that Johnson had invited her to the birthday party.
"Why didn't I go?" she asked out loud. "It was probably in Malibu, that's too far for me to go to."
After the interview with Johnson, it quickly emerged as to why DeGeneres missed the party.
The 62-year-old was actually in Texas where she controversially sat next to former US president George W. Bush at an NFL game.
The NFL game was a PR nightmare for DeGeneres, who was slammed for sitting next to Mr Bush, with many attacking the talk show host - a prominent gay, liberal and outspoken LGBT activist - for cosying up with the former Republican president, who once endorsed a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.
Mr Bush also entered the US into a war with Iraq under the later-disproved belief that they possessed weapons of mass destruction.
Actor John Cusack went as far as to accuse DeGeneres of "normalising mass murderers" through association with Mr Bush.
DeGeneres later addressed the pair's unlikely friendship and the criticism surrounding it on her talk show.
"People were upset. They thought, 'Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?'" she said.
"I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different, and I think that we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different.
"Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone."
Actor Mark Ruffalo wasn't buying it.
"Until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead (sic) torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars - emotional & otherwise - inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can't even begin to talk about kindness," he tweeted after the furore.
TWITTER THREAD DUBS ELLEN 'MEANEST PERSON ALIVE'
A shocking Twitter thread in March, which was the first legitimate insight into claims against Ellen, cast doubt on her reputation.
Writer and comedian Kevin T. Porter tweeted: "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."
There were more than 1000 replies to Porter's tweet, with people detailing their not-so-nice experiences with Ellen.
Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! 😊❤️— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 20, 2020
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
TV writer Benjamin Siemon replied to Porter's tweet with: "She has a 'sensitive nose' so everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her and if she thinks you smell that day you have to go home and shower."
He also tweeted: "A new staff member was told, 'Every day she picks someone different to really hate. It's not your fault, just suck it up for the day and she'll be mean to someone else the next day.' They didn't believe it but it ended up being entirely true."
Chris Farah tweeted: "I worked @RealFoodDaily, served her … at brunch. She wrote a letter to the owner & complained about my chipped nail polish (not that it was on her plate but just that it was on my hand). I had worked till closing the night before & this was next morn, almost got me fired."
Author Allison Freer wrote: "Was working on a show @ WB that was next to her stage. Was our showrunner's 50th Bday. Caterer grilling steaks outside for special fancy lunch. Ellen sent someone over to demand they stop, as she doesn't eat meat. She's the worst."
She also tweeted: "I have another food one: She polices her crew's lunch orders, nobody allowed to eat fish etc. They would come hide on our stage to eat what they wanted away from her."
Stand-up comedian Josh Levesque replied with: "Another friend of mine was a PA on her show and when Russell Brand came into the employee break area to chat with the crew and hang out, Ellen came in and got mad at him - saying he didn't have to interact with these people, that's why guests have their own area backstage."
Singer Detox tweeted: "An old friend worked on her lot & smiled & said "good afternoon" to her one day & she became unhinged. "Who do you think you are? You don't look at me," yada yada. She said Portia was with her & seemed embarrassed & tried to calm her down. Has forever changed my opinion of her."
After being inundated with responses, Porter tweeted: "Well this got out of hand! It's now hard to tell which stories are real or not, so I've rounded up to 300 and donated $600!"
BEAUTY BLOGGER'S DAMNING CLAIMS
In April, transgender beauty blogger NikkieTutorials, real name Nikkie De Jager, slammed the media personality, describing her as "distant and cold" and detailed her disappointing experience as a guest on The Ellen Show.
"Call me naive, but I kind of expected to be welcomed with confetti cannons: 'Welcome to The Ellen DeGeneres Show!' But instead I was greeted by an angry intern who was a bit overworked," the Dutch 26-year-old makeup artist revealed in a translated version of an interview with Dutch magazine &C.
"I was expecting a Disney show, but got Teletubbies after dark," she said.
"I was not allowed to use the nearest toilet, because it was reserved for the Jonas Brothers. Why do they get a private toilet, I thought."
She also said DeGeneres didn't greet her before going on air.
"It's nice that you say 'hi' before the show … she didn't. Ellen is just such a different world," she said.
When asked if the host was distant and cold, Nikkie said yes.
"Just a little … It was a huge honour to be on that stage with Ellen, but it wasn't as nice as I thought.
"After Ellen, I figured don't meet your idols," she said.
'DISTASTEFUL' QUARANTINE JOKE
DeGeneres upset many fans by comparing her time self-quarantining at home to jail during her show last month.
Like many in the business, DeGeneres has been hosting her talk show from the comfort of her home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in an effort to minimise crowds and maintain social distancing etiquette.
She opened the program with a monologue from her living room in which she extended her gratitude to medical workers and everyone else on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. The host went on to thank her wife, Portia de Rossi, for acting as her camera crew along with their dog, Augie.
"Portia and I have been quarantining for three weeks now and it's nice, actually, because we get to spend time together and talk and just really get to know each other, right? Did you know that she's Australian? Fascinating," the star deadpanned.
However, during her opening monologue, the star made a joke about quarantining with her wife being similar to incarceration, which upset many of her viewers.
"This is like being in jail is what it is," DeGeneres joked. "Mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay!"
Several fans took to Twitter to lambaste the comedian for her privilege, calling her out for likening the conditions of isolation in her mansion to those of prisoners, even in joking.
"My 19-year-old daughter is considered an 'essential employee'. She's a fast food worker. She's exposed EVERY DAY. No one GAF about Ellen's privilege Pampers a$$ stuck in her mansion. Show me @ellen working the lines @ the grocery store. NO mask, NO gloves. Then I might care," one angry user wrote.
"Petition to stick her in an actual jail after quarantine is lifted. Just for a month or so, so maybe she can learn something," someone else joked.
"Hey, Ellen, go volunteer at a grocery store or food bank. Get on the front lines if being sequestered in your mansion is just too difficult. Unbelievable," a third user noted.
FORMER BODYGUARD RECALLS 'COLD' EXPERIENCE
A former bodyguard who was assigned to protect DeGeneres during her hosting gig at the 2014 Oscars said earlier this month he could attest to the recent allegations made by others about her unfriendly and selfish demeanour.
Tom Majercak told Fox News that, during his 10-year stint as a senior manager of operations for Security Imagery Specialists (SIS), he was selected to serve as DeGeneres' executive protector at the 86th Academy Awards.
The opportunity meant he'd be escorting DeGeneres, her mother and De Rossi throughout the night from the red carpet to the Dolby Theatre and the glamorous post-ceremony Governor's Ball.
He too experienced a less-than-pleasant experience while up-close with the host.
"I'm holding their hands and walking them through individuals and large groups of people. Ellen is the one person that I've been assigned to - and I've been assigned to quite a few celebrities - that has never taken the time to say hi to me," Mr Majercak said.
The former security official left SIS in 2019. At the Oscars, Mr Majercak said he spent "a lot of time" with De Rossi, who was "very pleasant and carried on a conversation".
"It started going negatively when she introduced me to Ellen and Ellen pretty much just gave me a side glance out of her eye and didn't even say, 'Hello,' or 'Thank you for protecting my mother, my wife and me,'" Mr Majercak said.
"It was very cold and it was very sly and it was actually kind of demeaning in the way that she treats people other than those who are in her circle."
Originally published as How Ellen suddenly became TV villain