Ellen Degeneres can’t seem to catch a break these days.
When she’s not getting ripped to shreds for her casual friendship with George W. Bush or being accused of secretly mean behavior by her former employees, she’s drawing the ire of the entire world wide web.
While broadcasting her first show from the living room of her $24 million mansion yesterday, Ellen cracked a joke about being in quarantine that didn’t land with, well, anyone.
“This is like being in jail, is what it is,” she said. “Mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.”
The moment the words escaped from her lips, Ellen seemed to regret saying them, because then she clapped her hands together and awkwardly pretended to laugh: “Ahh, the jokes that I have!”
The jokes, indeed.
Not surprisingly, a backlash quickly ensued…
— Rebecca Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) April 8, 2020
Petition to stick her in an actual jail after quarantine is lifted. Just for a month or so, so maybe she can learn something.
— Sekhmet (@sekhmetreborn) April 7, 2020
“Hi my name is Ellen and I’m going to make fun of the incarceration of thousands of American citizens during a global pandemic and also imply that only queer folx are jailed and make it seem that being told to stay in my fucking house is like being in a cell in a jail ward.”
— JessPak(she/they) (@HealthPakStream) April 7, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres Comparing Isolation in Her Mansion to “Jail”🤣😂 Guess her designer clothes are her jumpsuit huh. pic.twitter.com/4otWe47QYI
— itsagundam (@GundamIsHere) April 7, 2020
also, nice of her to throw an “everyone in jail is gay/acts gay” joke in there as a cherry on top of her usual garbage
— Whitney McIntosh (@WhitneyM02) April 7, 2020
ellen: being in quarantine is like being in jail
the jail: pic.twitter.com/1Ro9IkdQJx
— grace (@graceisaaac2) April 8, 2020
Can we all just agree jokes about jail/prison are just…bad? Putting humans in cages is not funny. Things that happen there are not funny. And anything you’re going through right now in your apartment (or your fucking mansion, Ellen) is not comparable.
— Shana Knizhnik (@shanakn) April 8, 2020
People so far from being impacted by the criminal justice system love to use it as free labor and punch lines. Fuck you Ellen. Quarantine isn’t jail. Fame isn’t jail. Jail is jail. https://t.co/sgea84nk0q
— gia onomatopoeia (@missgiagiagia) April 7, 2020
me: so yeah idk if im going to be able to get my testosterone prescription and nobody is telling me anything about my finals and how tf do i even get into uni
ellen: my huge mansion is a jail cell
— ً (@qerscus) April 8, 2020
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 https://t.co/RBytt0Kl4B
— Caroline Darya Framke (@carolineframke) April 7, 2020
Generally speaking, cracking passé jokes about all prisoners being gay or making light of a global pandemic that has, so far, killed almost 85,000 people around the world from the protection of one’s multi-million dollar luxury compound is ill-advised. But everyone messes up sometimes, especially comics, and especially ones who are worth an estimated $330 million.
Ellen has yet to respond to the backlash over the joke.