Ellen Degeneres Faces Backlash Over Joke Comparing Quarantine to Jail

Brenda Watkins
April 9, 2020

Ellen DeGeneres is copping bulk heat over the first episode of her "at-home edition" of her daytime series, after she jokingly compared being in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic to "being in jail".

After several weeks of amusing phone calls to her celebrity pals, Ellen DeGeneres has returned to her beloved talk show to give people encouragement and some much-needed distraction during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

One Twitter response said: "She totally gets what it's like to be locked up on Riker's for a parole violation and die from COVID-19 now after being cooped up in a $40 million mansion for three weeks". Show me Ellen working the lines at the grocery store.

The tone-deaf comment also comes at a time when many people, including the courageous men and women she thanked a few moments prior, don't have the privilege to stay home and safely self-isolate amid the global pandemic. "I'm not one of those people who knock people for their accomplishments". (See the video.) DeGeneres, whose show had suspended production in March because of the outbreak, joked she was filming from the living room because "all the other rooms in my house are filled with toilet paper", per the Hollywood Reporter.

Said DeGeneres about being in quarantine: "This is like being in jail, is what it is...mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay". Did you know that she's Australian? DeGeneres then gave a shoutout to her "crew", wife, Portia de Rossi, who is now her director and camera operator and her dog, who is the key grip.

F1 extends factory shutdown to five weeks
The next race on the calendar that has not yet been moved or canceled is the Canadian Grand Prix, which is slated for June 14 in Montreal.

"Sitting inside her fifteen million dollar mansion complaining and comparing it to a prison, very tone deaf ellen", one viewer commented on YouTube.

"The jokes that I have", she laughed.

"What a great look for Ellen as thousands of people sit in actual jail cells just hoping for the best without soap and basic protections", Variety's Caroline Framke tweeted.

Another tweeted, "Ellen you quarantining in your mansion in designer sweats is nothing like prison".

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