Ellen DeGeneres quietly deletes her tasteless joke about being a prisoner in her $27 million mansion

Ellen DeGeneres, after production of her show was suspended due to coronavirus, is back and is filming from her Los Angeles living room. (Screen capture via YouTube)

Ellen DeGeneres has quietly removed the section of her show in which she compared quarantining in her $27 million Californian mansion to “being in jail”.

On Tuesday the star revived her talk show from home, filming from isolation in her five-bedroom, 12-bathroom Beverly Hills pad.

With her wife Portia de Rossi serving as both camera operator and director, DeGeneres opened with a tasteless joke about her situation.

“This is like being in jail, is what it is. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.”

The attempt at humour didn’t go down well with viewers, who condemned her for the tone deaf comparison which came as the prison population are at particular risk of the virus.

“She totally gets what it’s like to be locked up on Riker’s for a parole violation and die from COVID-19 now after being cooped up in a $40 million mansion for three weeks,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another added: “Petition to stick her in an actual jail after quarantine is lifted. Just for a month or so, so maybe she can learn something.”



Others noted that jokes about people being gay in prison are also nothing particularly new, nor particularly funny.

The backlash was so fierce that on Thursday DeGeneres appeared to remove the video before re-uploading it with the offending joke cut out.

However she has refrained from directly commenting on the incident, and noticeably has yet to apologise.

In recent weeks DeGeneres has been dogged by accusations of mistreating her staff after one former employee called her “the meanest person alive”.

It was followed by numerous people sharing unverified stories of the star’s awful behaviour, which are allegedly ubiquitous in LA social circles.

Although the tales seem at odds with her long-standing reputation for generosity and kindness, the claims were bolstered by the YouTuber Nikkie Tutorials, who revealed that when she was a guest on The Ellen Show DeGeneres didn’t even take the time to greet her.