TV

The Hypocrisy of "The Ellen Show's" Celebrity Bans

Vince Vaughn's character in a movie once called electric cars "gay" while G.W.B. tried to constitutionally ban gay marriage.

The Ellen Degeneres motto: "Be Kind to One Another."

The 61-year-old comedian and talk show host was widely criticized when she seemed to meet that standard by defending her friendship with George W. Bush. When the two were pictured sitting together in the owner's suite at a Dallas Cowboys game, many questioned what the former Republican president and "a gay Hollywood liberal" could have in common. Degeneres used her monologue on the The Ellen Show to describe their friendship: "In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different, and I think we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different," she said. "Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I am not going to be friends with them. When I say 'Be kind to one another,' I don't mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone." Interestingly, many celebrities, like Reese Witherspoon and Jameela Jamil, initially supported the statement; but, after reflecting on GWB's politics and legacy of war crimes, they deleted or publicly retracted their agreement.

In particular, British actress Jameela Jamil admitted that she was previously unaware of Bush's policies, tweeting, "Ooooof learning today about the full extent of Bush's heinous presidency... we weren't taught much about him at school, we just heard he was stupid...(we were dealing with our own epic nightmare of a prime minister back then). What a monstrous leader. I now understand the rage.." When she was criticized, she shared the hashtag #progressnotperfection to express the necessity of education and effort to improve oneself in response to ignorance—not fear, hatred, or bullying. "I love learning and growth and massively applaud anyone who says they don't/didn't know the answer and seeks it out," she wrote. "I personally think that's cool and hope that we all feel safe to do that, so we can all evolve together. #progressnotperfection ❤️❤️❤️❤️."


In that spirit of education, we can examine Ellen Degeneres' personal ideology—around which she's built a reportedly $450 million brand—a little more closely. As Page Six reported (days after Ellen defended her friendship), the host has outright banned multiple people from appearing on her show. If the list of celebrities and the reasons for their bans is even somewhat accurate, then the easiest way to be denied a public platform on The Ellen Show is to express anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments. Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Burrell, and Sherri Shepherd were all reportedly banned due to their outspoken stances against gay marriage. Vince Vaughn was allegedly given a temporary ban after a line in his 2011 comedy, The Dilemma, called electric cars "gay...not homosexual, but my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance-gay."

The contradiction, of course, lies in GWB's strong anti-gay legacy. In 2004 he even called for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. His two conservative appointees to the Supreme Court, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, still hold their seats today and continue to contest federal protections for LGBTQ+ workers. Yet, Ellen has invited her friend and former president to appear on her show at least twice.

As vocal critics point out about Degeneres' friendship with GWB, "Kindness is not enough" when practicing the Golden Rule means not holding individuals accountable for actions that condemn whole groups of people to lives of oppression or result in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Degeneres and Bush both enjoy a social status that can afford to put kindness before justice or true activism; their clout puts them above reproach or the claws of oppression. With that being said, yes, Ellen absolutely faced massive fallout for her progressive decision to publicly come out years before bigotry and stigma were called out the way they thankfully are today; but the insular world of celebrity and Hollywood has always been out of touch with the realities of oppression. Fame, for all of its pitfalls, is a shield.

Ellen Degeneres and George W. Bush's friendship isn't based on "kindness"; it's based on the privileges of being white, wealthy, western public figures who can afford to sit in the owner's suite at a Dallas Cowboys game.

Music Features

On This Day: Shakira Liberated Everyone's “She Wolf”

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

By Fabio Alexx

11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.

"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.

"I was in the studio in a bad mood that day, then I got inspired and went to a corner and I wrote the lyrics and the melody in 10 minutes. The image of the she wolf just came to my head, and when I least expected it I was howling and panting," Shakira said.

Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."

Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com


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CULTURE

Worst Quotes of the Week: Vogue, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ben Shapiro

People say a lot of dumb sh*t. Sometimes I hear about it.

Image: Steve Cho/Penta Press/Shutterstock.

People say a lot of dumb sh*t.

Some of those people are famous, and then I hear about it. Here are the worst quotes of the week:

3. That Vogue Writer Who Didn't Prepare for Her Rihanna Interview

"Normally I bring a list of questions, but I didn't have time to prepare one..."

Look, when you're interviewing or profiling one of the biggest musical artists in the world, you should probably do your homework. I'm not going to go so far as saying there was a racial element at play, as was evident with The Hollywood Reporter's BTS profile, but there does seem to be a trend of white writers profiling major non-white artists and pulling this "I wasn't ready lol" stunt.

That being said, in the writer's defense, it sounds like maybe she really was given way too short notice for the interview. In which case, maybe just don't include that bit next time.


2. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen Degeneres George Bush

"Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I am not going to be friends with them. When I say, 'Be kind to one another,' I don't mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone."

This was Ellen Degeneres' response to people online who were angry at her for buddying up with former president George W. Bush, a nice old man who paints sh*tty pictures of veterans and also lied to the American people in order to propel us into the Iraq War.

Look, it's a nice sentiment and Ellen DeGeneres seems like a very nice lady. I'm not going to sit here and sh*t on her for pandering to her primary demographic of stay-at-home boomers who love her milquetoast pranks but also kind of low-key hate gay people. But we're talking about a legitimate war criminal here, a guy whose lies led to countless violent deaths and the destabilization of an entire region of the world. So instead of pooping on Ellen for her nice, "politically neutral" sentiment of buddying up with war criminals who think she's going to burn in Hell for eternity, here's her explanation juxtaposed with photos from George Bush's Iraq War.

Rafael Shimunov's Remix of Ellen's BS Explanation www.youtube.com

1. Ben Shapiro

"You want a culture war in this country? You damn well have it, Beto O'Rourke...Because I promise you, if you come to tell me that you're going to indoctrinate my kids in particular policy and that I can't pull my kid out of the school and send my kid to a school I want to send them to...If you send a truant officer to remove my child, I have two choices at that point...One is to leave the country utterly. Two is to pick up a gun...Beto O'Rourke does not get to raise my child. And if he tries, I will meet him at the door with a gun."

This week, tiny lunatic Ben Shapiro attempted to take straw man arguments to a whole new level while essentially threatening to murder a political candidate he doesn't like.

Shapiro's rant was in response to Beto O'Rourke saying that if he were president, he would take tax exempt status away from any organization, religious or otherwise, that discriminated against LGBTQ+ people. How Ben Shapiro jumped from "Churches that discriminate against LGBTQ+ people will not get tax breaks" to "Officers will come to my home and remove my children, so I must kill Beto O'Rourke" is beyond me, but it's worth noting that Shapiro's brain is most likely a giant, malignant tumor at this point.

All joking about Ben Shapiro's soft, frail body and his almost definite inability to properly handle a firearm aside, here's the thing you need to understand about him: The only people who like Ben Shapiro are very, very stupid. They're so stupid that they can't hold functional conversations with anyone whose shoes aren't already in their mouths. They're so stupid that they've deluded themselves into believing they're capable of debate. They're so stupid that they actually listen to Ben Shapiro.

In other words, these people are incredibly dangerous. There's a reason that the Quebec City Mosque Shooter was a big Ben Shapiro fan, and I promise, it has nothing to do with him wanting to hold a debate.