2020 was the year that the world collectively fell out of love with Ellen DeGeneres, following a groundswell of criticism on social media regarding the way Ellen and the higher-ups at The Ellen Degeneres Show treat their staff. Musician Katy Perry was also in for a lot of criticism for tweeting in support of Ellen, which many saw as insensitive to the experience of the staff workers who had come out against their bosses and the host of the show. In an interview with LA Times, Perry explained her tweets were not meant to imply the experiences of the Ellen staff was invalid.
“I started that tweet off not undermining anyone else’s experience. I wanted to only speak from my own experience. I have over 100 million people that follow me on Twitter, so not everyone is going to agree with me. And I’m not here to make everyone agree with me.”
The issue first started at the beginning of the year, when it was rumored that Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show had laid off a large part of her staff without pay during the global lockdown which shut down production of her show. Since then, workers and celebrities have been posting on social media regarding accusations of workplace harassment against Ellen and the producers of her show, leading to an official investigation into the allegations, and calls for the host of the long-running program to be replaced. In the midst of the controversy, Perry took to Twitter to vouch for Ellen’s character.
“I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow.”
“I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought to the world through her platform for decades. Sending you love & a hug, friend.”
Following Perry’s defense of Ellen, many pointed out that it is unfair to compare her experience as a celebrity guest on the show with the experience of employees who have to work in that environment.
Still, despite standing by her support for her friend, Katy Perry insists she has come a long way in terms of understanding that her personal life experiences are different, and usually far more privileged than other people’s, and is working to change and learn from the fraught state of the world around her.
“Having more awareness and consciousness, I no longer can just be a blissful, ignorant idealist who sings about love and relationships. Even my travels have afforded me a new perspective on cultures, class systems and the inequality around the world, not just in the United States. There’s definitely a reckoning – an uncomfortable but necessary reckoning – that is happening right now.”
On her part, Ellen is doing her best to put the controversy surrounding her show in the past. Whether she will continue to headline the show or pass on the baton to a new host remains to be seen. This comes from The Los Angeles Times.