People are calling Ellen DeGeneres tone-deaf after one of her jokes about coronavirus bombed this week. She is now being called out after comparing self-quarantine to “being in jail.”
Ellen, like many other TV hosts, has made her show virtual as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. She has been posting many videos to Instagram and YouTube from her home.
On Monday, she made a broadcast that rubbed many of her viewers the wrong way. In the video that has since been deleted, she said:
“One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people—this is like being in jail. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.”
“I feel bad for the kids at home, all the college students, all the parents,” DeGeneres continued. “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.”
By Wednesday afternoon, the video was unavailable on YouTube. But some early viewers left comments about the video’s tone-deaf approach.
Viewers considered Ellen’s remarks insensitive. This is especially true during a time when prisons across the United States are seeing spikes of inmates testing positive for coronavirus.
One viewer commented on YouTube, “Sitting inside her fifteen million dollar mansion complaining and comparing it to a prison. Very tone-deaf, Ellen.”
“I feel like I’m in jail,” says Ellen in this house pic.twitter.com/GbDe9rbXTk
— Adri Says Revolt🌹🌹 (@hello_adrii) April 8, 2020
Another viewer on Twitter commented, “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.”
Ellen DeGeneres isn’t the only celebrity who has faced backlash after attempting to send a message about the coronavirus outbreak.
Recently, Gal Gadot was the target of criticism after she posted a video of her and other celebrities singing along to “Imagine” by John Lennon.
“Imagine—IMAGINE—having $17 million dollars and thinking that making a video clip of you singing one line of a song would help anyone,” tweeted GQ writer Sophia Benolt in response to the video.
Perhaps instead of trying to create videos while bathing in tubs of roses, celebrities could instead help fund drug and alcohol treatment centers and similar.
At least one celebrity seems to get it! Tyler Perry recently left $21,000 in tips to the staff at an Atlanta restaurant.