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Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres Under Fire for Poorly Made Jail Joke

Gettyimages | Tibrina Hobson
By Tia Kitchens

It is a roller-coaster kind of day today it seems. Not only has the total cases of COVID-19 reached 417,206 as of this morning according to testing but a talk show host is in the news.

Ellen DeGeneres is in the news after making a really poor joke about how this quarantine is going. The talk show host really hit a nerve with most of the people in America right now. Due to the severity of the virus it makes sense too.

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Ellen DeGeneres | Instagram

So far she has had Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend on the show after it took a three-week hiatus. Of course, they are all doing this from the safety of their own homes. That means this was all done over voice calls.

However, all it took was one really poor joke to get people fired up. Ellen stated that “One thing I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that ... this is like being in jail.” It didn't stop there either. It probably could have been brushed over if that was where she left it.


“Mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay," she finished her joke with.

This has left a really sour taste in people's mouths. The justice system is underfunded, crumbling, and vastly overcrowded. Making a joke at their expense isn't great no matter the times but during a pandemic is even worse. As some of the worst places that have been hit have been prisons. Where you cannot have a six feet apart rule happen. The cells are small and often have more than two people in them.

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres | Instagram

Right now the Rikers Island hail in New York is one of the worst ones hit. As if today they have confirmed cases for 167 inmates and 137 staff members. There is no possible way they can keep this from spreading as there is no way they can due a six feet apart rule due to overcrowding.

As of Sunday Rikers became the first jail that had an inmate die from COVID-19.

The joke hit hard with people and many people haven't found it funny.

Ellen DeGeneres
Gettyimages | George Pimentel

People took to Twitter to speak up about how unhappy they are with Ellen. Who hasn't commented on the backlash as of right now.

"What a great look for Ellen as thousands of people sit in actual jail cells just hoping for the best without soap and basic protections," one user tweeted at her.

"People so far from being impacted by the criminal justice system love to use it as free labor and punch lines. Fuck you Ellen. Quarantine isn’t jail. Fame isn’t jail. Jail is jail," another user tweeted clearly upset.

By far the tweet that hit the hardest is this one, "My 19 year old daughter is considered an "essential employee". She's a fast food worker. She's exposed EVERY DAY. No one GAF about Ellen's privilege pampers a$$ stuck in her mansion. Show me @ellen working the lines @ the grocery store. NO mask, NO gloves. Then I might care."

We can see how this is hurting people. And we hope Ellen shows some respect for others.

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