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Ellen DeGeneres criticised after comparing coronavirus confinement to jail

The Independent logo The Independent 07/04/2020 Clémence Michallon

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Ellen DeGeneres has come under criticism after jokingly comparing confinement in the time of coronavirus to jail.

The TV host delivered the line on Monday while presenting her show from home, in accordance with the rules of social distancing.

DeGeneres, who has been confined at home with her wife Portia de Rossi, first joked that isolation has been the perfect opportunity to “really get to know each other”.

FILE - In a Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 file photo, Ellen DeGeneres, winner of the Carol Burnett award, poses in the press room at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. “The Masked Singer” has been such a hit for Fox that the network is doubling down on hidden entertainers. Fox says it's joining with Ellen DeGeneres to produce “The Masked Dancer,” a celebrity competition show based on “The Masked Singer” and a segment that DeGeneres originated on her talk show. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File) © Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP FILE - In a Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 file photo, Ellen DeGeneres, winner of the Carol Burnett award, poses in the press room at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. “The Masked Singer” has been such a hit for Fox that the network is doubling down on hidden entertainers. Fox says it's joining with Ellen DeGeneres to produce “The Masked Dancer,” a celebrity competition show based on “The Masked Singer” and a segment that DeGeneres originated on her talk show. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

“Did you know that she was Australian?” she asked viewers about her spouse, a native of Horsham, Victoria.

DeGeneres added shortly afterwards: “This is like being in jail, is what it is. Mostly because I’ve been the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.”

The joke didn’t sit well with many viewers, who found it tone-deaf and made their feelings known on social media.

Ellen DeGeneres attends the premiere of Netflix's "Green Eggs and Ham" at the Hollywood American Legion Post 43 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark Von Holden /Invision/AP) © Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP Ellen DeGeneres attends the premiere of Netflix's "Green Eggs and Ham" at the Hollywood American Legion Post 43 on Sunday, November 3, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mark Von Holden /Invision/AP)

“Ellen you quarantining in your mansion in designer sweats is nothing like prison,” one person tweeted.

“Did she run this joke by *literally* anyone?!?” someone else wondered.

Dorothy Bush Koch sitting in front of a window © Provided by The Independent

“Yes very much like jail, except for the part where you still have your multimillion-dollar home and your voting rights,” another person wrote.

“Ahhhh yes living in your elegant mansion is exactly like jail Thnx Ellen,” someone else tweeted.

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