Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is facing backlash after comparing her time self-quarantining at home to being in prison.
The comedian, who is maintaining social distancing regulations by hosting her program from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, opened her show with a controversial monologue.
“Portia and I have been quarantining for three weeks now and it’s nice, actually, because we get to spend time together and talk and just really get to know each other, right? Did you know that she’s Australian? Fascinating,” DeGeneres said.
She then proceeded to make a joke, suggesting that quarantining with her wife is similar to being incarcerated.
“This is like being in jail is what it is,” she joked.
“Mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay!”
Naturally, DeGeneres’ joke didn’t sit well with many on social media.
“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,” one person tweeted.
Another added, “Ellen Degeneres really said social distancing is like being in jail when the government is out here sacrificing fast food workers who don’t even have that privilege. She probably hasn’t even discovered half of the rooms in her $27M mansion…”
Ellen DeGeneres compares her self-isolation to prison time. I quote: “Being in quarantine is like being in jail”
Her quarantine: pic.twitter.com/EIKNZZGBh1
— Simone. (@kaIiopi) April 8, 2020
So America is just loosing itself🤦🏽♀️ @TheEllenShow now why are you out here making culturally clueless statements. Being quarantined feels like jail!? Have you been to jail ED. You live in a mansion with everything you can dream off stop acting a fool please🤦🏽♀️
— @anotherprogressive (@Lillith36039129) April 8, 2020
Disappointed in @TheEllenShow for joking about being in a jail while she sits in her multimillion $ mansion with access to anything she wants. Many of us are struggling to get essentials and are exposed on the front-lines, but please continue exercising your privilege. 🙄 smh
— Summer Edwards (@SRE2019) April 8, 2020
No @TheEllenShow your quarantine is NOTHING like being in jail. Arizona sticks 150+ guys in a warehouse. How is that social distancing? And I beg your pardon, everyone in jail or prison isn't gay. This is ridiculous. https://t.co/MhjmnHo0EI
— Kati Butera (@KatiButera) April 8, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres has since taken down the video where she makes the joke.
This is the comedian’s first week filming the show from her home.