One of Ellen DeGeneres’ jokes backfired this week after some people called her out for comparing self-quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic to “being in jail.”
The popular host, who like many TV hosts has made her show virtual amid stay-at-home orders, said the comment while broadcasting to viewers from her home on Monday. “One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what it is,” she said. “It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.” The video, which as of Wednesday afternoon was listed as “unavailable” on YouTube, was deemed “tone deaf” by some viewers, who responded to the episode in the comments section of the platform.
“I feel bad for the kids at home, all the college students, all the parents,” DeGeneres went on to say. “I feel bad for a lot of people. But I think that a lot of people out there need words of encouragement, and that’s what I want to do.” Still, some said they felt the joke came off as insensitive. Her comment comes at a time when prisons across the US are seeing an increase of inmates testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
“Sitting inside her fifteen million dollar mansion complaining and comparing it to a prison, very tone deaf ellen,” one viewer commented on YouTube.
“Except that people in jail can’t practice social distancing, don’t have enough water or toilet paper and are going to die at exceptional rates from Covid-19. Except for that, Ellen, your quarantine experience is just like being in jail,” another person tweeted.CNN has reached out to a representative for DeGeneres for comment. READ MORE
Oh for cryin’ out loud, people, lighten up!
Even as someone who generally considering himself pretty radically left-wing, politically, one thing I never understand or identify with is this “outrage culture” that seems so prevalent in our modern society. Yes, I’m going to be that guy and say I think that this is an example of people just looking for a reason to be offended.
And no I’m not some dedicated Ellen Degeneres fan, although I did enjoy that Netflix special she did a couple of years ago, looking to support her no matter what. I just think that this is much ado about nothing. If she was seriously complaining about being “quarentined”, and compared it to being in jail, yes, that would absolutely be absurd and she would deserve all the derision, but this was clearly a joke. She’s a comedian, that’s what they do, tell jokes. Maybe you didn’t think it was particularly funny, that’s fine, but it’s not offensive. I’m not even buying the tone-deaf argument, either.
David Geffen, taking a picture of the mega-yacht that he’s staying in, and talking about the quarantine, okay, THAT was tone-deaf. And he deserves mockery. But not Ellen.
And don’t think for a minute it’s because I’m not taking this stuff seriously. As I said, I’m still going out to work Monday through Friday. I am well aware of the fact that I’m basically risking my health and my life every day. I do worry about catching this. Early this morning I got an email from a friend, who is lucky enough to be working from home, telling me about a friend hers who just died from this virus. A man she knew since high school, he was 38, a married father of 3 young children, and now he’s dead. Thankfully his wife and children have all tested negative, but think of the heartbreak they’re going through. I’ve also had one Facebook friend who has lost their father to this.
So yeah, I get is, this shit is serious. But sometimes a little humor is also needed, and this is one of those times. So turn off the “outrage,” or at least save it for stuff that really matters, okay?