In the entertainment industry, the person we see on camera can differ greatly from that same person behind the scenes.
As seems to be the case, according to hundreds of Twitter users who are sitting at home, bored out of their minds during self-isolation.
It all started with one tweet:
“Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about!
She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank”
Admittedly, I find it quite tongue and cheek that the sharing of these stories was accompanied with a charitable cause. As a storyteller myself, that really made me chuckle.
Just a disclaimer: these stories have not been officially corroborated. Take them with a grain of salt, and if anything, let’s use this as an opportunity to open dialogue about the appropriate treatment of others, despite the background you come from.
At the very least, these tweets can be read with a chuckle over your favourite beverage.
Here are a selection and breakdown of the most noteworthy stories told by Twitter users about alleged experiences with Ellen DeGeneres behind the scenes of her popular talk show.
1. If you smell, you’ve got to go.
“A) She has a “sensitive nose” so everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her and if she thinks you smell that day you have to go home and shower.”
Apparently, if you get famous enough you can refuse to be in the presence of people who aren’t always smelling minty fresh, or have some body odour going on?
Could you imagine feeling that entitled that you can just go up to people and say to them:
“Nuh-uh. My nose isn’t a fan, go away, stinky person.”
The first thing that comes to my mind is that the backstage of one of the most popular talk shows on television is likely a fast-paced, adrenaline-inducing environment.
You know what adrenaline activates? Sweat glands.
It seems fair to assume that in a hectic workplace setting like that, not everyone would always smell like they’ve just stepped out of a fresh shower 24/7.
I just can’t imagine thinking so highly of myself that I would ever feel validated enough to tell someone their odour is unpleasant enough for me to banish them from my presence.
2. Do not look at Ellen, or speak to her.
“My sister worked for the Ellen Show for two years. This is from her: “I saw Ellen in the hallways every day and would say hello and she never once said hello back. She wouldn’t smile. She wouldn’t even acknowledge me at all. For two seasons.”
One of my closest friends has a senior pup who is very particular about the amount of contact he has with other people.
We have a running joke in a group chat that includes a list of DON’Ts when it comes to interacting with her dog, based on previous experiences and encounters with total strangers:
- Don’t look at him
- Don’t talk to him
- Don’t breathe near him
- Don’t even think about him
If you do any of these things? Well, he won’t be happy about it, and frankly will let you know with plenty of barking and probable puppy obscenities.
We laugh about that ongoing joke, and think it’s cute… but only because he’s a very particular, senior rescue dog.
This same behaviour is not cute on an actual human being.
Several of these Twitter responses outline DeGeneres refusing to look at or speak to any of the backstage crew, a majority of the time.
One tweet details an autistic custodian who loved to greet everybody he encountered, and was then fired for ‘annoying’ Ellen.
Another talks about when Russell Brand was onset chatting with the backstage crew, and how Ellen told him he had his own room so that he wouldn’t have to talk to “these people”.
You know… the peasants.
3. Pressuring guests to admit personal details about their lives against their will.
We all have a right to privacy when it comes to withholding the personal details of our lives, and those in the spotlight even more so value this gift of being able to keep details private when so much of their lives are plastered across tabloids.
As I scrolled through the stories on this thread, I came across a moment that really shocked me — an episode of the show with Mariah Carey as a guest on in 2008, being pressured by Ellen to confirm rumours that she was pregnant on the talk show.
Ellen Can Tell That Mariah Carey's Pregnant
Mariah Carey won't respond to pregnancy rumors, but Ellen knows how to get an answer out of her without saying…
Mariah Carey was not on board, not wanting to take part in that line of questioning, and tried to change the topic several times.
It was at this point that Ellen brought out alcohol, joking that she wasn’t going to force Carey to admit she was pregnant, but then poured two glasses of champagne and handed a glass to Carey, prompting her to take a drink first.
All the while, Mariah Carey looks very uncomfortable as the audience laughs and Ellen pushes further. Carey takes the ever-so-slight drink of champagne touching lips, and at that point Ellen declares, “She’s pregnant!”
The truly heartbreaking side of this interaction is that Mariah Carey, unfortunately, miscarried several weeks later.
Miscarriages are not uncommon, which is exactly why expecting parents are recommended to not announce their pregnancy until 6–8 weeks in, as that is the time when the risk of miscarriage is at its highest.
I felt wildly uncomfortable and angry for Mariah Carey watching the above video. From what I could seem, she wasn’t there to talk about supposed pregnancy rumours, and to have announced earlier that she was comfortable doing so? That made my blood boil.
Then again, it could also have been a PR set-up to make a dramatic announcement to enhance relevancy — we’ll likely never know.
As first mentioned, take each of these accusations with a grain of salt. They remain unsubstantiated.
That said, what is one to believe when the number of little, everyday accounts grows to the size of this Twitter thread (hundreds of responses), with many sounding very similar to one another in terms of behaviour?
Either each and every Twitter user is a fantastic creator of fiction… or perhaps there could be some truth to these stories?
At the end of the day, all of this teaches us several important lessons:
The main being that no amount of fame or privilege can validate poor treatment of other people.
We’re all human at the end of the day, and having the human decency to show respect to those around you is a characteristic that will never go out of style.
Any amount of fame can go to someone’s head and ego quite easily, and for that reason staying humble is an extremely powerful and important practice.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” — Jeff Bezos
Wouldn’t you want those conversations to be positive?
If so, treating others with integrity and respect are the backbone of any reputable brand.
I Was Totally Duped by Rachel Hollis
Like many women, I resonated with her so deeply and truly admired her — now, I feel betrayed and embarrassed.
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