Ellen DeGeneres and Harvey Weinstein have a worrying amount in common. Abuse is abuse, no matter what, so why are we trying to deny it?
Ellen DeGeneres has been riding high as the Queen of Talk Shows for over almost 18 years. During that time, we’ve seen her interview some of the most famous stars in the world, give generous gifts to those in need, and put on one hell of a show. But, what if that’s all it is – a show?
Over the past few weeks, rumors of Ellen’s terrible behavior on-set have been brought to the forefront.
As an entertainment writer that’s worked in the industry for years, I know these rumors aren’t anything new. The talk show host has a rap sheet of allegations longer than most Ellen fans realize – or care to admit.
Finally, the mask Ellen has held up for so many years is starting to slip. People are beginning to take notice. As writers are wont to do, I wrote about it. But, despite the revelations, I was surprised to find that readers were quick to drag me through the mud for one particular point I made when discussing her reign of terror.
People didn’t like it when I compared Ellen DeGeneres to Harvey Weinstein. Here’s exhibit A.
What? Putting Weinstein and DeGeneres in the same paragraph, what a joke. Rape and slightly rude not the same. People are not very bright.
And exhibit B.
Stopped reading at the question posed why Weinstein and Cosby were thrown in jail while Ellen and Phil are still on tv. That’s like asking why a pickpocket is not treated the same as a serial killer. Not only an obtuse thing to say but also insulting to the sexually abused women.
I’m not one to shy away from a head-on discussion, so let’s dive straight in, shall we?
I’d like to kick this showdown off by saying I am not suggesting that Ellen is a serial sex offender. But to say that there aren’t any comparisons between her and Harvey Weinstein is frankly misguided nonsense.
I know it’s scary to look at the Hollywood hate machine as a fan because that makes you part of the problem. But, sometimes, it’s necessary to make scary, adult choices and face up to facts.
There are many parallels between Harvey and Ellen, so many in fact that I can’t mention them all, so I’ll focus on a couple of particular points.
Ellen has been an industry giant for years, even before she carved out a name for herself in the talk show scene. She’s a true titan in her field with power more far-reaching than any of us fully realize.
Harvey exploited his power by luring women into his web and manipulating his position to get what he wanted. The crimes he committed were unspeakable acts that will haunt these women for the rest of their lives.
But turn back the clock just a couple of years, and the producer was still schmoozing the Hollywood crowd. Nearly all of the industry knew he was a perverted old man, but he continued to work. He still showed up to premieres, and A-listers still threw their arms around him to have photos taken.
Then, allegations began to rise to the top. Once one person stood up, it started a tsunami of accusations and uncovered a truly heinous pattern of abuse that couldn’t be denied.
Harvey went from the man who could make your dreams come true, to the man that was the scourge of Hollywood. To the public, it seemed to be an overnight reveal, but for those in the know, it was a long time coming.
Sadly, the same can be said for Ellen. Tales of her abusive behavior go back years. From refusing to meet with guests prior to seeing them on stage to cultivating an environment of terror for her crew, it’s all there.
As a talk show host, she might not have physically abused anyone, but that’s not to say that the impact she has on her staffers isn’t profound.
Let’s not forget that Ellen is the one that always preaches, “Be kind.” The avalanche of allegations suggests that just like Weinstein, she’s perpetuating a false reality to line her pockets. The only difference is the scale. The longer she can keep luring in viewers, the more zeros go on her bank balance.
Both Weinstein and DeGeneres have built an empire on the poor treatment of others. Just because we’ve seen Ellen hand out fat checks to welfare moms on TV, does that mean we should excuse her actions? Does that mean that she can’t possibly be called an abuser because she’s an older woman who says all the right things?
Perhaps she just gets away with it because he has friends in high places. After all, her show makes a lot of people money. How long will it last? Maybe it’s just a matter of time before these whispered conversations become a New York Times investigation.
We don’t hold mental abuse to the same standard as we do physical or sexual abuse. When will we say time is up on the brazen double standards?
There might be a different name for it. It might have a different type of lasting impact. But, abuse is abuse.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:59 PM