Ellen Is Being Dragged For Comparing Quarantine In Her Huge Mansion To “Being In Jail”
Ugh, there's nothing worse than being a prisoner in your $43 million home.
As coronavirus has resulted in most people being confined to their homes and lockdowns of non-essential businesses, talk show hosts have had to turn to filming their shows from home. While most hosts decided to suspend filming during lockdown, many started recently filming from home after realising that quarantine might last longer than just a few weeks — including Ellen.
After halting production on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 13, Ellen decided to start filming from home with digital crosses to keep the show going.
Sat in her gigantic living room with ceiling-to-floor windows, Ellen kicked off the new-style show. Met with total silence from a lack of studio audience, Ellen’s jokes fell flatter than usual.
But none as flat as Ellen’s attempt at trying to critique quarantine by comparing it to prison. Explaining on camera that she just wants to “spread light where there is shade”, Ellen decided to share that she felt like a prisoner in her fuck-off huge mansion.
“This is like being in jail is what it is,” Ellen said. “It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.”
Ellen does her first show from home: “Being in quarantine is like being in jail. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.” pic.twitter.com/DH1ywZKAqR
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) April 6, 2020
As expected, people criticised Ellen for her tone-deaf joke about being locked up in what looks to be her $USD27 million ($43 million AUD) Californian mansion. The joke was made even worse by the disproportionate amount of coronavirus cases occurring in prisons right now due to a lack of sanitation and medical care.
In New York’s Rikers Island, an inmate has already died of coronavirus and the dirty, cramped conditions don’t help in limiting the spread. So far over 273 inmates and 321 correctional staff in city jails have tested positive to the virus — with another four staff deaths — numbers that are sure to grow in the coming weeks.
Comparing life in a sprawling 8,188-square-foot mansion to the average 48-square-foot single person prison cell isn’t worth the cheap punchline. At least not when overcrowded prisons are resorting to releasing prisoners in mass numbers to help control the spread of the disease — something that over 2,900 inmates in Sri Lanka experienced earlier this week.
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
Well we've known this for a long time but good LORD Ellen sucks so incredibly much. pic.twitter.com/OJ6wR18IeP
— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) April 7, 2020
Does your $27 million home feel like a prison Ellen? https://t.co/lmfqnZ91pQ
— Joel Quigley (@joelquigley7) April 8, 2020
No @TheEllenShow, being quarantined in your mansion w/ an abundance of food, medication and privilege is NOT like being in jail. Incarcerated people are contracting #COVID19 & some are dying because of lack of access to healthcare, supplies & basic empathy from staff. https://t.co/L1XtJ7dFkZ
— untilfreedom (@untilfreedom) April 7, 2020
Ellen really is the worst. https://t.co/T4EUSo4Irk
— brain genius (@Millerheighife) April 7, 2020
Beyond the prison punchline, Ellen failed to check her own privilege by also totally ignoring the life that “essential” workers face in today’s climate.
Responding to Ellen’s quip about the comfort of her own home feeling like prison, Texan mum @opnmindtexs shared the scary reality that her 19-year-old daughter has to deal with as a fast food worker. After someone called her daughter a “hero”, @opnmindtexs responded: “No, she’s a slave of capitalism.”
“She can’t quit because she’d be homeless,” she continued. “She’s not a hero. She’s a sacrifice demanded by the elites.”
omg go off pic.twitter.com/8WhppKn1WC
— schrödinger's gay cowboy (@obiwormkenobi) April 7, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres comparing being cooped up in her giant home to prison is simply insensitive and tone-deaf.
Sadly, Ellen can joke about it because these problems will never affect her — she’ll likely never experience what prison is actually like, she won’t have to continue to serve people food during a pandemic because she can’t afford not to, and if she contracts COVID-19, she’ll survive off the back of the world’s best medical care.
But while Ellen has had some questionable moments, she isn’t the only celebrity who has been criticised for being tone-deaf during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just last month Gal Gadot and a bunch of her rich friends were slammed for not reading the room before releasing a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ — a song that’s ultimately about equality — when their mansions and access to coronavirus testing kits before the sick proved that class divide is as strong as it’s ever been before.