Ellen DeGeneres has been in the headlines a lot lately, with everyone from stars to behind-the-scenes contractors calling her out for supposedly being “mean” and unkind to others — a sharp contrast with her on-screen persona. However, controversy is nothing new for DeGeneres, who has been slammed in the past for her habit of bringing unproblematic people onto her show, and for seeming to act as a spokesperson for the LGBTQ community. Her actions did not sit well with viewers, and she has received a great deal of negativity from social media critics.
Ellen DeGeneres broke barriers for the LGBTQ community
DeGeneres began her career as a standup comedian, performing in comedy clubs all around the United States. During the eighties, DeGeneres appeared in a series of small roles in television and film and earned enough acclaim to receive her very own show in 1994.
In her show Ellen, DeGeneres became a star and received positive reviews for her easy charm and good-natured humor.
During the fourth season of her show, DeGeneres made history and headlines when she came out as a lesbian. It wasn’t a one and done incident on the show, either — DeGeneres would continue to explore LGBTQ issues throughout the remainder of the series run.
DeGeneres herself became even more famous after her public coming out and went on to become a very public face for the often-marginalized community. Still, it is her association as a spokesperson for the community that ended up causing DeGeneres a lot of issues in recent years.
Ellen DeGeneres has welcomed some problematic guests
In 2019, comedian Kevin Hart became the subject of intense backlash when he was announced as the host for the 2019 Oscars. A few of Hart’s older social media posts from 2008 went public, revealing that Hart had made a number of anti-gay statements.
For that reason, many fans called for Hart to step down as the host for the awards show, even though the comedian had apologized. DeGeneres then made the controversial decision to bring Hart as a guest to her talk show, allowing him to explain himself and even calling on the Academy to reinstate him as the host.
Also in 2019, DeGeneres brought actor Chris Pratt onto her show, following some bad press that involved Pratt’s church as being reportedly anti-gay. Rather than call Pratt on his religion or beliefs, she threw him softball questions, seemingly not bothered at all by the suggestions that Pratt’s church has problems with the gay community.
Twitter users are not on board with Ellen DeGeneres using her show as a platform
After her interviews with Hart and Pratt aired, DeGeneres was slaughtered on Twitter, with critics stating that the talk show host wasn’t hard enough on the two celebrities and that she keeps “trying to rehabilitate these people who don’t respect your own community.” Fans called on her to “please listen” to the community. Others stated that, after her interview with Pratt, DeGeneres “dropped the ball” for LGBTQ advocacy.
Critics accused DeGeneres of using her show as a platform for people who don’t necessarily support the LGBTQ cause, and of giving problematic guests a “free pass.” If DeGeneres heard the criticism, she didn’t respond directly to it, continuing to welcome her various celebrity friends to her talk show and keeping interview topics lighthearted and fun.
Still, the issues might have finally caught up to DeGeneres — and in light of the recent scandal, more people than ever are calling on DeGeneres to change her ways, or get canceled for good.