Ellen DeGeneres Is Facing A Huge Backlash After Joking That The Coronavirus Quarantine Is "Like Being In Jail"

    "I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay."

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    Ellen DeGeneres is facing some heated backlash after she made a joke about the coronavirus lockdown in a recent segment for her talk show.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Due to being quarantined as a result of the virus, Ellen recently started filming her chat show from home with the help of her wife, Portia de Rossi.

    Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

    In the first episode back since the lockdown was put in place, Ellen applauded first responders and health care workers, thanking them for their contribution to helping those affected by COVID-19.

    The Ellen Show

    "I wanted to start doing my new show as soon as possible because it's really for people who are stuck at home, and especially my staff and crew," the talk show host continued. "I love them, I miss them, and the best thing I can do to support them is to keep the show on the air."

    The Ellen Show

    However, things didn't get off to the best start when Ellen went on to joke: "One thing that I've learned from being in quarantine is that this is like being in jail."

    The Ellen Show

    She added: "It's mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay."

    People were quick to call Ellen out for the joke, noting that a Californian mansion probably wasn't the best comparison to being incarcerated.

    Ellen DeGeneres Comparing Isolation in Her Mansion to “Jail”🤣😂 Guess her designer clothes are her jumpsuit huh.

    being in a nice mansion in California is exactly like being in jail, I agree Ellen. https://t.co/C8EtSOKigx

    poor ellen got quarantined in a jail worth $24 million https://t.co/1X5kofZLdg

    One viral tweet in particular picked up a lot of support, after someone highlighted Ellen's privilege in comparison with those who are having to put their health at risk during the pandemic.

    @MikeSington 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.

    "She's a slave of capitalism. She's terrified," the person continued, pointing out that if their daughter quit her job, she'd be homeless. "She's not a hero. She's a sacrifice demanded by the elites."

    @MikeSington @ellen No, she's a slave of capitalism. She's terrified. I'm terrified. She can't quit because she'd be homeless. She can't come home because she could infect me and her sister (co-morbitities). Let's call it what it is. She's not a hero. She's a sacrifice demanded by the elites.

    One person called Ellen out for using the criminal justice system as a punchline.

    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. https://t.co/sgea84nk0q

    While others pointed out that people who are currently incarcerated are among the most vulnerable to the virus.

    People are literally dying in jail from COVID-19 while Ellen is out here making jokes about it. https://t.co/Z8cdnMDF5b

    "One of the most concentrated coronavirus outbreaks in the world is happening in NYC’s biggest jail complex...The jail’s top doctor called the situation a “public health disaster" ....One inmate said: "A lot of us are going to be going home in body bags." https://t.co/m1adElxfJP https://t.co/DIC6U4AwY8

    Last month, it was revealed that inmates in Los Angeles were being released early while police were arresting fewer people over concerns that the coronavirus could spread quicker in jail.

    Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva said: "Our population within our jails is a vulnerable population just by who they are, where they are located, so we're protecting that population from potential exposure."

    BuzzFeed News has reached out to reps of Ellen DeGeneres for comment. You can catch up on the latest coronavirus coverage from BuzzFeed News here.

    Ben Henry is a celebrity reporter for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ben Henry at ben.henry@buzzfeed.com.

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