DAN WOOTTON: Ellen’s fans could have forgiven her for being herself – even if it wasn’t nice

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Ellen DeGeneres became the undisputed queen of American TV based on her reputation as all women – the friendly celebrity with a ‘be kind’ mantra who loved to dance with her A-list friends in front of a worldwide audience.

The problem, however, is that the carefully crafted on-screen appearance was a complete myth.

“I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be,” she pleaded today in an emotional exit interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

But that’s the problem. Ellen wasn’t the Little Miss Nice her TV producers would have you believe, she was a spiky comedian who could be cruel to stars she was against and whose show was a tough work environment.

Her downfall is a lesson to all TV celebrities: just be yourself. Stop selling a fake image of perfection to the public because if you find out, they won’t forgive you, as the plummeting ratings for Ellen’s show confirm.

Ellen DeGeneres (pictured) became the undisputed queen of American TV based on her reputation as an all-woman

Ellen DeGeneres (pictured) became the undisputed queen of American TV based on her reputation as an all-woman

The problem, however, is that the carefully crafted on-screen appearance was a complete myth, writes DAN WOOTTON

The problem, however, is that the carefully crafted on-screen appearance was a complete myth, writes DAN WOOTTON

DailyMail.com’s exclusive revelation that Ellen’s talk show ends after 19 years and 3,000 episodes would have been a total bombshell just a few years ago.

The creeping Hollywood press releases hastily sent out after we revealed the news would lead you to believe this decision is all to do with the star’s decision to sign off. There were all the usual platitudes – she wants more time with her wife Portia de Rossi and will focus on her stand-up career and charity projects.

While there’s no question that Ellen doesn’t need the money and was long tired of the grind of 180 shows a year, let’s take a look at the fact that there was no choice as to whether or not to go into the sunset.

Viewers made the decision for Ellen and the show’s producer Warner Brothers.

Such a large cash production would not have remained viable, given the massive shutdown following the revelations about some aspects of Ellen’s personality and the show’s backstage culture.

In Los Angeles alone, the city where she films the show, she has lost 59 percent of the viewership.

Now let me be clear, Ellen is not a particularly bad person. She’s like pretty much any Hollywood celebrity – a discerning diva who expects things to always be done her way.

This woman is an actress who makes $ 85 million a year for God’s sake. To think she’s anything like you or me is absurd.

She wasn't that nice to Taylor Swift in 2013 when she hit the pop star about her famous boyfriends (pictured together)

She wasn’t that nice to Taylor Swift in 2013 when she hit the pop star about her famous boyfriends (pictured together)

The problem is, when the stories started to appear, viewers were shocked to have bought into the image of the Ellen portrayed in her chat show.

They sincerely believed that Ellen was like one of their true friends: down to earth, nice and nice to everyone. After all, that was the whole point of her TV show.

In fact, there were often times when Ellen was anything but a representation of the ‘sheer joy’ she likes to talk about at every possible opportunity.

She was by no means purely cheerful for actress Dakota Johnson whose awkward encounter with Ellen during a neglected birthday invitation in November 2019 first sparked a lot of negative stories.

She wasn’t that nice to Taylor Swift in 2013 when she hit the pop star on her famous boyfriends. “Do you know how bad I feel?” Taylor groaned painfully.

Or Katy Perry in May 2017 when Ellen pressed the singer on her marriage to Russell Brand. After a particularly tense exchange of views, Ellen reassured Katy: “That will work out.” But the whole interview was broadcast.

Or Celine Dion who she challenged in 2007 for not cutting her son’s hair.

There are countless other examples.

Ellen was not the Little Miss Nice, her TV producers would have you believe, she was a spiky comedian who could be cruel to stars she was against and whose show was a tough work environment

Ellen was not the Little Miss Nice, her TV producers would have you believe, she was a spiky comedian who could be cruel to stars she was against and whose show was a tough work environment

While Ellen has denied many of the accusations against her as “ ridiculous, ” notably one claim that people had to chew gum before speaking to her, she admitted today that her private behavior didn’t always match her persona.

When the Hollywood Reporter asked her what she learned from the backlash, she said, “Well, you realize that every encounter means something. And if, for whatever reason, I didn’t dance one day when I was in the dry cleaner or didn’t smile at someone, it’s like, ‘Oh, did that affect anyone? Was that what they meant? ‘

And I don’t know, but I know that I am just a person with a lot of different emotions and I struggle with depression and anxiety. So I’m not super smiley every day, but I never mean to hurt anyone. And I also looked at it and said, “Okay, may I be more present, because this one-minute meeting is going to affect someone in a way.”

Ellen doesn’t learn from her mistakes here – she actually sets an impossible standard for herself.

I love stars like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell, Madonna and Simon Cowell who fully appreciate that they can be difficult divas at times and make that part of their public persona.

No one will cancel Mariah for dressing up an unfortunate staff member or showing up eight and a half hours late for a meeting, as she once did to me! It is what we expect from those personalities.

You should only pretend you’re saccharin sweet on the screen if you’re willing to back it up with actions when the cameras stop rolling.

Ellen failed on that front and the audience watching forced the cancellation of her show in the ultimate act of consumer power.

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