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‘So f–ked up’: Ellen DeGeneres under fire for resurfaced interview clip

Another unsavoury talk show moment has come back to haunt Ellen DeGeneres – this time involving pop megastar Taylor Swift.

The former talk show host came under fire in 2020 when allegations surfaced that the show was rife with toxic workplace behaviour.

Former employees alleged they faced racism, fear and intimidation behind the scenes of Ellen.

DeGeneres announced in May 2021 that her show would end after almost 20 years.

Even though DeGeneres is no longer a main fixture on TV screens, clips from the show have begun to resurface on social media.

‘Make it stop’

Taylor Swift appeared on Ellen in 2013 to promote her new album, Red.

But DeGeneres was far more interested in the 23-year-old’s love life, which the media was all too fond of speculating about.

After prodding about her non-existent relationship with High School Musical star Zac Efron (who Swift repeatedly insisted that she had not dated), the host set up a game at her expense.

She told Swift that she would show pictures of her rumoured ex-boyfriends on the screen, and asked her to ring a bell to confirm if they had actually dated.

Swift immediately protested, but DeGeneres powered on regardless.

“I don’t know if I’m gonna do this,” Swift said.

“This is the one thing that I have, like the one shred of dignity that I have … People go and make guesses about it and the only thing that I have is that one card.”

Ellen‘s producers then showed a slideshow of Swift’s rumoured ex-boyfriends.

Along with a few humorous inclusions – like Danny DeVito and Rob Lowe – DeGeneres prodded Swift about Efron, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Justin Bieber and Cory Monteith.

Swift voiced her discomfort with the gag.

“I don’t want to. They’ll send me angry emails and I don’t want to get them,” she pleaded with the host.

DeGeneres then grabbed the bell and proceeded to ring it for the rest of the featured celebrities, prompting an outcry from Swift.

“Stop it, stop it, stop,” she exclaimed.

“This makes me feel so bad about myself. Every time I come here you put like a different dude up there on the screen, and it just really makes me question what I stand for as a human being.”

Shock and disgust

Clips of the interview, which have since been scrubbed from The Ellen Show’s official YouTube channel, have been reaching new audiences on TikTok.

And people are sharing their shock and disgust at DeGeneres‘ treatment of Swift.

Among them is American supermodel and podcast host Emily Ratajkowski.

“This is so f–ked up,” Ratajkowski wrote in response to a clip of the interview shared to TikTok.

“She is literally begging her to stop.”

The TikTok clip has been viewed more than 2.3 million times, with thousands of comments taking aim at DeGeneres.

“Ellen was so out of pocket to treat her like this. She did not deserve that,” one user said.

“I think the sentence ‘I don’t wanna do it’ should’ve been more than enough,” said another.

Ellen

Model Emily Ratajkowski slammed the segment in a TikTok comment. Photo: TikTok

Felt ‘reductive’

Swift has long battled with the media’s fascination with her love life – with constant speculation about who the singer has dated.

Swift has reiterated that she’ll never reveal who each of her songs is about over fears that would overshadow her craft.

The singer appears to have addressed the hurtful gag in an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in 2019.

When asked when the ‘slut-shaming’ was the hardest for her to cope with, Swift said it was when she was 23 – coincidentally the age she was when that segment took place.

“You know, when I was like 23 and people were just reducing me to, like, kind of making slideshows of my dating life and putting people in there that I’d sat next to at a party once and deciding that my songwriting was like a trick rather than a skill and a craft,” she said.

“It’s a way to take a woman that’s doing her job and succeeding at doing her job and making things and, in a way, it’s figuring out how to completely minimise that skill by taking something that everyone, you know, in their darkest, darkest moments, loves to do – which is to slut-shame.”

‘Peer pressure’

This isn’t the only clip from Ellen going viral for all the wrong reasons.

In 2021, about the same time that Ellen announced her show would be ending, another interview with songstress Mariah Carey also went viral.

Fans were shocked to find that back in 2008, DeGeneres had served the We Belong Together singer a flute of Champagne in an effort to ‘out’ her pregnancy.

“People are saying you’re pregnant,” DeGeneres then told Carey.

“Don’t discuss that,” Carey replied with an uncomfortable laugh.

“You don’t have to answer,” said DeGeneres, saying she simply had to respond by deciding whether to take a sip of Champagne.

“I can’t believe you did this to me, Ellen,” Carey said.

“This is peer pressure. Do you see what Ellen is doing?”

Carey was indeed pregnant, and tragically miscarried soon after appearing on the show.

She opened up about the interaction to Vulture in 2021.

“I was extremely uncomfortable with that moment is all I can say. And I really have had a hard time grappling with the aftermath,” Carey said.

“I wasn’t ready to tell anyone because I had had a miscarriage. I don’t want to throw anyone that’s already being thrown under any proverbial bus, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.”

Carey said she wished the topic had been approached with more sensitivity.

“[There is] an empathy that can be applied to those moments that I would have liked to have been implemented.”

DeGeneres is yet to address the recent backlash.

Related:

Topics: Taylor Swift
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