After recently landing in hot water regarding a joke about quarantine — she said that being in her $27 million estate was like being in jail because “everyone in here is gay,” — talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is making headlines again. Now, thousands of petitioners are asking that she be replaced on her show by Ellen Page in a campaign that seems partially comedic and partially serious.
“Ellen Page is a much better Ellen to host The Ellen Show,” the petition states bluntly. “Ellen DeGeneres is a hetero that just happens to be gay. Ellen Page is a much better host because she’s way more gay.” Well then, tell us how you really feel.
Though we all know that no queer is “more gay” than another — and that “hetero that just happens to be gay” isn’t a thing — the criticisms no doubt come after a series of similar criticisms from more progressive LGBTQ+ people, including this very publication. DeGeneres has been criticized for befriending the notoriously anti-LGBTQ+ former president George W. Bush as well as defending her fellow comedian Kevin Hart’s messy homophobic past — particularly when this probably wasn’t her place. For some, the sequence of events has seen DeGeneres’ status as a queer icon unravel over the past year or so.
Instead of responding to criticisms of her recent joke gone awry, likening living in the lap of luxury as equivalent to being “in jail,” the comic simply removed that portion of her show without comment or apology.
In the new petition, one signee noted that they supported the campaign “because Ellen DeGeneres has made offensive comments towards a community of convicts, ex-convicts, and to every person that struggles to survive in these hard times,” and added, “Ellen Page has been an active speaker for equal rights and has proven to be more professional and socially conscious than Ellen.”
In a viral moment that most shows the difference between the Ellen’s, the daytime talk giant was taken to task in February 2019 when she showed support for actor Chris Pratt. Page, instead, pretty much publicly eviscerated the man for his connection to the known anti-LGBTQ+ Hillsong Church.
“If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed,” wrote Page on social media. “Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe.”
We took the moment to look at the differences in how Page and DeGeneres use their platforms — and many of the points we made are now being echoed by the new petition which has over 7,000 signatures.