Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has had a long and very successful career. One of the first openly gay female comedians, DeGeneres has created a name for herself as a bastion of liberal values and a friend to many celebrities, including the Kardashian/Jenner family.
As likable as DeGeneres is; however, she has found herself in hot water in recent years over her habit of befriending celebs who don’t have a track record of supporting LGBTQ issues. Find out how DeGeneres has received criticism over the years and why some members of the LGBTQ community are saying that she doesn’t practice what she preaches.
Ellen DeGeneres seemingly supports Chris Pratt
In February 2019, Chris Pratt was a guest on DeGeneres’s talk show. The actor, who has starred in big-budget films like Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy, is very vocal about his Christian faith. Pratt attends Hillsong Church, an organization that reportedly does not hire LBGTQ people and speaks out against those who live a gay lifestyle.
Actress Ellen Page called out Pratt saying “being anti-LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides.” While Pratt didn’t address Page directly, he did take to social media some time after the incident, claiming that he belongs to a church that “opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
When Pratt appeared on DeGeneres’ show after the criticism, instead of opening up the conversation with Pratt about his beliefs, DeGeneres kept the interview light and fun, promoting his appearance days in advance by tweeting things like: “Whatever (Chris Pratt) is selling, I’m buying.” DeGeneres received a lot of backlash for the interview, with fans calling her out on social media for not listening to her community and stating that her friendly interview with Pratt was “painful.”
Ellen DeGeneres got in trouble over her friendship with George W. Bush
Months after the Pratt incident faded away from the forefront of public consciousness, DeGeneres found herself in trouble again, over a similar issue. In early October, some footage aired on TV that showed DeGeneres sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a ball game.
The two were laughing and clearly having a good time. Many fans immediately questioned why DeGeneres was so genial to Bush, a man who had supported several anti-gay policies during his time in the White House.
On her talk show, DeGeneres addressed the controversy, stating that she’s friends with Bush and that, in fact, she’s friends with people of all different political leanings and backgrounds. DeGeneres went on to claim that she touts the message “be kind” to apply to everyone, not just people who share the same social viewpoints.
While many celebrities and fans alike spoke out to support DeGeneres’s story, many more weren’t buying it. Some even accused DeGeneres of being the go-to place for cleaning up their rep when actors get accused of homophobia.
Does Ellen DeGeneres still support LGBTQ rights?
Actor Mark Ruffalo was one of the first high-profile actors to speak out against what DeGeneres said on her show. In a tweet, Ruffalo stated that until Bush is brought to task for “crimes in the Iraq War,” kindness should not even be a concern.
Lots of other critics on social media spoke out, saying that DeGeneres is out of touch with the real issues in the LGBTQ community and that she lives on a “cloud of privilege,” well away from the struggles and difficulties that members of the gay community face on a daily basis.
While DeGeneres still claims that she is liberal and always stands on the side of LGBTQ rights, it is clear that the waters have muddied a little bit when it comes to the relationship between DeGeneres and the community she represents. Fans cannot take away the strides she’s helped the community make, but that doesn’t mean she’s the voice of the community anymore.