Is Ellen DeGeneres secretly evil? That seems to be the question The New York Times was investigating their profile on the comedian and talk show host, "Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think." But while their story presents itself as a deep dive into daytime TV's nicest lesbian, it doesn't uncover nearly as much as the title promises.
The story centers around the huge "transitional moment" of DeGeneres's career: deciding whether or not to continue her show (she's contracted through summer 2020) and her return to stand up in the upcoming Netflix special "Relatable." The story posits that this shift started two years ago, when DeGeneres stopped doing the thing she was most known for besides playing Dory in Finding Nemo: dancing on her talk show. But strangers apparently get mad when they see her and she's not dancing. "Of course I'm not dancing. I'm walking down the street," DeGeneres told the Times. See? Not nice!
More evidence that DeGeneres is shockingly different than her fake TV persona is that she is "more blunt, introspective and interesting than she is on the show, willing to express mild irritation that might seem off-key in front of a national audience. She's also much more likely to explore dark corners of her psyche, regrets, second thoughts, anxieties that linger." In her upcoming special, fellow comedian Tig Notaro says that DeGeneres is "a real person with a foul mouth." She curses? Gasp! Not nice!
The story then rehashes some of the trauma that may have led to DeGeneres being secretly mean: when she came out her TV was stuck with a parental guidance warning and swiftly cancelled, queer people accused her of not being political enough, Elton John told her to stop talking about her sexuality and just be funny -- which apparently "still stings."
Even bigger dirt: she liked Nannette but thought it was more of a solo show than stand up and disagrees with Hannah Gadsby's ambivalence towards comedy as an art form, saying she believes, "comedy is the best medicine."
The writer then describes how during the interview, DeGeneres gets a call that her wife Portia de Rossi fell off a horse while riding and sustained a concussion. Finally, some drama! "This is my biggest fear," she told the writer. "I'm scared all the time for her." De Rossi returned home and was fine, but the horse? Ellen's public persona is that of an advocate for animals, but who knows what could happen to it with someone as secretly mean as Ellen around...