Ellen DeGeneres called out for sharing ‘tone-deaf’ Amanda Bynes clip: ‘This is painful to watch’

Ellen DeGeneres walks onstage with a smile and Amanda Bynes drinking starbucks in LA.

Ellen DeGeneres is back in the spotlight, this time for a controversial post about former actress Amanda Bynes.

The comedian and television host shared a throwback video from The Ellen DeGeneres Show on her official social media accounts, showing Bynes, then just 18, speaking in 2004 about her living arrangements.

The Instagram caption read: “Amanda Bynes talks living with her parents.”

In the clip, the Hairspray star shares that her “parents are understanding and wonderful [and] keep me grounded”, adding that she has no plans to move out.

DeGeneres responds: “You have the freedom to live on your own if you want and you choose to live at home with your parents and give them credit for being really understanding and cool parents.”

Bynes was a child star whose personal life became highly publicised, with her mental-health issues and private life made public. She appeared in the long-running All That from the age of 10.

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The relentless intrusion led her to retire from acting in 2010. 

She was in a conservatorship under her parents’ rule from August 2013 to March 2022 – just months after singer Britney Spears was freed from her controversial court-appointed guardianship.

DeGeneres’ decision to repost the video has been branded tone-deaf.

“Umm… weird clip to share at this point in time,” one Instagram comment read.

Another person wrote: “Why would you post this? This is painful to watch.”

Ellen DeGeneres arrives at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards smiling on the red carpet.
Ellen DeGeneres has faced a number of controversies. (Steve Granitz/Getty)

Ellen DeGeneres’ other controversies

This isn’t the first time DeGeneres has been at the centre of controversy.

On her show in 2008, she handed Mariah Carey a glass of champagne after the singer refused to comment on whether she was pregnant.

In the aftermath, Carey revealed she wasn’t ready to tell anyone she had had a miscarriage.

In 2019, DeGeneres and George W. Bush were pictured looking friendly at an American football game.

DeGeneres faced a backlash because the Republican former president was opposed to same-sex marriage

The talk show host also came under fire when Dakota Johnson revealed she’d invited DeGeneres to her 30th birthday party. 

It later came out that instead of being at the party, DeGeneres was at the NFL game with Bush.

Ellen DeGeneres onstage during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards
The Ellen DeGeneres Show ended in 2022. (Robyn Beck/Getty)

Why did The Ellen DeGeneres Show end?

The Ellen DeGeneres Show ran between 2003 and 2022.

The decision to cancel the show coincided with the end of her contract, but allegations about workplace behaviour had tarnished the formerly uplifting and light-hearted brand.

Her catchphrase “Be Kind” became seen as ironic after staffers accused the comedian of fostering a toxic and racist work culture where bullying and harassment had become rampant behind the scenes.

Several former and current members of staff claimed DeGeneres’ optimistic daytime TV personality was “bulls**t” that “only happens when the cameras are on”.

Following an internal investigation, three producers were fired and DeGeneres made an emotional apology to staff.

In 2021, DeGeneres announced she would be ending the show, claiming it was “not a challenge any more.”

Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage
Ellen DeGeneres is now performing Ellen’s Last Stand… Up. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty)

What is DeGeneres doing now?

DeGeneres is returning to Netflix for her final comedy special, Ellen’s Last Stand… Up.

In April, she performed for the first time in almost two years. During the opening night of her stand-up tour in Los Angeles, she joked about being “kicked out of showbusiness”.

She went on to recall how her 1990s sitcom, Ellen, was cancelled when she came out as a lesbian in 1997.

“Oh yeah, I got kicked out of showbusiness. There’s no mean people in showbusiness,” she told the audience.

“For those of you keeping score, this is the second time I’ve been kicked out… eventually they’re going to kick me out for a third time because I’m mean, old and gay.”

The Netflix special is set to be taped later this year. 

DeGeneres has set off on a multi-city stand-up tour which started on 19 June in San Diego, California.

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