You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ellen DeGeneres slammed for COVID-19 joke

Newshub logoNewshub 10/04/2020 Hannah Kronast
Ellen DeGeneres wearing a suit and tie: Ellen DeGeneres has been recording her talk show from one of her Californian homes. © Getty Ellen DeGeneres has been recording her talk show from one of her Californian homes.

Ellen DeGeneres has received backlash online after comparing her time in quarantine in her multi-million dollar mansion to being in prison.

The 62-year-old has been hosting her popular talk show from one of her California homes after it was taken off air due to the coronavirus pandemic.

DeGeneres has been keeping the show going to "take your mind off everything that's going on in the world".

"I always wanted to have this show as a distraction, as a break from whatever is going on out there that may be unpleasant. 

"If you're feeling down I want to lift you up, if you're feeling trapped I want to set you free and if you feel like you're going in the wrong direction, I want you to back that thing up."

Her "at home" edition is being filmed by her wife Portia de Rossi and sees DeGeneres video call celebrities to talk from home, but not all of her show has been well received.

In pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world

"One thing that I've learned from being in quarantine is that people -- this is like being in jail, is what it is," DeGeneres commented in a video on Monday, The Washington Post reported.

"It's mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay. The jokes that I have. 

"I feel bad for the kids at home, all the college students, all the parents. 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."

The video has since been taken down from her Youtube channel, and was reuploaded on Wednesday without the comments after they drew backlash from viewers online who described her as "insensitive".

"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," Variety television critic Caroline Framke tweeted. 

Attorney Rebecca Kavanagh wrote: "People are literally dying in jail from COVID-19 while Ellen is out here making jokes about it".

"Ellen she's become the most tone-deaf celebrity in Hollywood. I'd like to see a jail that's a $50M Beverly Hills mansion please," another said.

Commenters challenged DeGeneres to switch places with them and see how it feels to be most at risk during the pandemic.

"Hi Ellen, can't believe you feel like you're in jail quarantined in your mansion. What a pity. Wanna change places with me or most of the world population? Then you can compare it and tell us a bit more about how much it sucks to have a little garden where u can stretch your legs," one person tweeted.

New York Times reporter Amanda Hess says celebrities are becoming disengaged with the public during the pandemic due to their lavish lifestyles.

She says she and many others are tired of seeing "their selfie public service announcements" which flaunt their large luxury homes and lifestyles.

This includes a recent celebrity cover of John Lennon's song 'Imagine' which was slammed as "embarrassing" and "terrible".

"Did you think about this at all before you posted it?" an Instagram user asked. 

"Did you listen to it? Did you ask yourself, at times like these does the world need a substandard compilation of caterwauling imbeciles singing an overplayed cliché of a song, and then decided, yes indeed? I'm truly embarrassed for you all."

Commenters wrote they didn't need cheering up from privileged celebrities who didn't understand the hardship many people were going through, they need real action such as money to help combat the virus. 

Full coverage: Read more on coronavirus from Microsoft News
More info: Read the latest advice on COVID-19 from the NZ Government
COVID-19 tracker: Interactive map and stats tracking the coronavirus worldwide
For COVID-19 advice and information, contact the Healthline team (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or +64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs

More From Newshub

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon