As America’s preeminent lesbian daytime talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres has attained a somewhat unlikely arena of ubiquity in mainstream entertainment culture.
But in the past year, there is evidence emerging that the tinge of mean-spiritedness that comes through in DeGeneres’ interviews and segments on The Ellen DeGeneres Show are consistent with a rumored behind-the-scenes demeanor.
DeGeneres’ comedy and sitcom career famously came to a halt when, in 1997, she used an episode of her show, Ellen, to come out.
Even Laura Dern, who played her love interest in the episode, reportedly couldn’t get a job for years afterward.
Of course, both women have since seen comebacks that have catapulted them to stardom and riches, but Ellen has more recently received a kind of countercultural check.
There have been rumor mills in the comedy and TV worlds about DeGeneres’ meanness for years.
The more Ellen can perform a kind of proximity to regular people on her show, the more she can attract their attention. »