Inside the Feud Between Ellen Degeneres and The Comedian Allegedly Banned From Her Talk Show

On the heels of Ellen Degeneres’s Golden Glode appearance, fans are chiming in with words of gratitude and support. Degeneres was honored with The Carol Burnett Award for her contribution to excellence in television. Most notably, her 1997 story of coming out, losing her sitcom because of it, then climbing her way back up the ladder of success, resonates with many.

Nearly everyone who meets Degeneres, whether on The Ellen Degeneres Show or in real life, speaks very highly of her. However, there are a few celebrities Degeneres doesn’t get along with. One comedian, in particular, has been outspoken about the supposed feud over the last year.

Is Ellen Degeneres as nice as she seems?

Ellen Degeneres
Ellen Degeneres poses in the press room during the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 | Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Talk show host and comedian, Ellen Degeneres, is world renown for her generosity and kindness. She’s a philanthropist having donated and given away millions of dollars over the course of her career.

The beloved star has interviewed everyone from Barack Obama to Bachelor Nation contestants, and most, if not all, have the nicest things to say about her.

In a 2018 profile of Degeneres by The New York Times, the star revealed she began to feel confined by her perceived image. She upended a decades-long clean comedy routine by tossing a curse word into her Netflix special, Relatable. The move surprised dedicated fans.

Friend and fellow comic, Tig Notaro, who produced the special, said, “Ellen’s a real person with a foul mouth.” It’s a far cry from the “nice, easy-going, squeaky-clean” image she concocted. It’s also a refreshing reminder that the pressures of her fame aren’t conducive to who she is in real life.

“Being trapped in the world of being asked to dance and expected to be nice, it’s real,” Notaro said. “I’m sure there’s people who think she’s kidding. Or can’t have a bad day. But she does. It’s an interesting pickle she’s in.”

Degeneres is under a lot of pressure to maintain the ‘nice’ persona

As the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and 32 Emmys, Degeneres has a lot to live up to. She told the NY Times, while her show gives viewers one side of who she is, it’s not the whole picture.

“I wanted to show all of me,” she said. “The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host. There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.”

Her wife of over a decade, Portia de Rossi, echoed Degeneres saying, “She’s just a bit more complicated than she appears on the show. There’s more range of emotion.”

The comedian is no stranger to controversy. She recently faced backlash for her friendship with former president, George W. Bush. She issued a video response on Twitter, but it divided fans. Some applauded her, while others deemed Degeneres’s response “Hollywood hypocrisy,” only portrayed by the “privileged.”

“Here’s the thing: 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 okay that we’re all different,” she said on her show.

“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything, doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna be friends with them,” she continued.

This is just one example that proves Degeneres may be partly what you see on TV, but at the end of the day, when the cameras stop rolling, she is human. Because of that, there are some celebrities that aren’t fans of the comedian, and vice versa.

Who has Degeneres allegedly banned from her talk show?

Amid the swarms of people who adore Degeneres, there’s bound to be a select few who don’t feel the same way. Comedian, Kathy Griffin, is one of them.

In the summer of 2018, Griffin spilled the tea while performing during her Laugh Your Head Off world tour, admitting she had a scuffle with Degeneres when Joan Rovers passed.

“One of the things that really hurt Joan, and we talked about it at our last meal together, was that Ellen always shunned her and Ellen thought she was vulgar and not funny,” Griffin said, per Variety.

“I just called her and I just said, ‘Look, woman to woman, comic to comic, I think you need to let go of your hatred for Joan Rivers. She’s passed away, just do a f***ing tribute, be cool,’” Griffin said.

The response, Griffin said, put the feud into motion.

There’s a difference between mean and funny,” Degeneres said, according to Griffin.

“That f***ing set me off,” Griffin added “So we had a fight in which I used inflammatory words like, ‘Look you f***ing untalented hack.’ … You know when you’re fighting with someone and you can kind of laugh at a point? Yeah, not that day.”

Griffin apologized, sort of

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After a few days to calm down, Griffin said she reached out to amend her previous rants.

“It was so ‘Dynasty’ that I demand to be Alexis as long as you’re Krystle,” she texted. “I think we should do a scene in the pool, I think there should be big hats [and] that bitch didn’t even respond! But that was a good idea!”

With no response, you’d think the mess would’ve died down. However, in an interview on Good Day New York after the conversations, Griffin weighed in again.

“I am apparently not her cup of tea,” she said. “But I think she is great. I am not a comedy snob.”

Ahe continued, “I’m vulgar, but I think it’s great there’s clean comedians and prop comedians and topical comedians and observational comedians. I’m just happy whenever a female, especially a female over 50, is still in the game.”

Degeneres didn’t respond to Griffin’s continued comments. With over a year since the incident, it could all be water under the bridge. But, that doesn’t mean the two comedians will be friends anytime soon.

Are there other celebrities rumored to have beef with Degeneres?

Griffin isn’t the only celebrity rumored to be banned from appearing on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Piers Morgan tweeted unsavory things, to which Degeneres’s friends, like Ariana Grande, responded in her defense.

Caitlyn Jenner was also reportedly banned after a 2017 appearance where she alleged DeGeneres “alienated” her from the LGBTQ community due to previous comments Jenner made about gay marriage.

“I remember 15 years ago, 20 years ago, whenever it was that the whole gay marriage issue came up, I was not for it,” Jenner said in 2015.

“I like tradition and it’s always been between a man and a woman and I’m thinking I don’t quite get it.”

Comedian Sherry Shepherd, Mark Ruffalo, and gosepl singer Kim Burrell are other celebrities reportedly on a “banned” list. Burrell, in particular, caught Degeneres’s eye when the singer made anti-gay comments on social media.

“I actually didn’t know her, her name is Kim Burrell. She made a statement she was doing a Facebook Live and she said some very not nice things about homosexuals, so I didn’t feel that was good of me to have her on the show to give her a platform after she was saying things about me,” Ellen said at the time.

Clearly Hollywood is a mixed bag of camaraderies. While some may not be Degeneres’s “cup of tea,” there are plenty of others who are and regularly vouch for the comedian’s big heart and genuine mission to treat others with kindness each and every day.