Ellen DeGeneres is, indisputably, one of TV’s favorite faces. Since its launch in September 2003, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has shattered ratings records and helped her become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. In 2016, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and, in 2017, at age 59, she broke the People’s Choice Awards record for most wins when she took home her 20th award. Despite all those accolades and her huge fan base, daytime’s nicest host has managed to make a few enemies along the way. These are the celebrities who supposedly can’t stand the comedic icon.
In 2016, two-time Emmy-winner Kathy Griffin published a tell-all book dubbed Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index. In the book, Griffin dishes dirt on more than 125 celebs, including DeGeneres who, interestingly, she didn’t name outright.
“I’m almost positive a certain beloved daytime talk show host once had me kicked out of a backstage dressing room at the Emmy Awards,” Griffin writes, leaving little doubt about the host’s identity. “I can’t prove it, but this person, who has short blonde hair, has a mean streak that all of Hollywood knows about.”
Speaking with Us Weekly during the book’s promo tour, Griffin got candid about their beef, tracing it back to a 2007 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on which “Ellen did a monologue about how mean I am.”
That same year, DeGeneres called Griffin “very mean” in W magazine. “I know she had a big thing about wanting to be on the show, and we didn’t book her. She did a whole thing that I banned her from the show. I didn’t ban her from the show, because first you have to be on the show to be banned.”
Nearly a decade later, this drama seems far from over. Griffin told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that she received a harsh call from DeGeneres about Celebrity Run-Ins. “[DeGeneres] was extremely upset, and I think she had a thought that she was going to, like, put me in my place, or whatever, but as you know I’m not shut-uppable,” Griffin said. “We kind of got into it, and I’m not going to lie, after I hung up, I sobbed like a baby. I admire her and, you know, it was a difficult conversation. But hey, it came with the territory.”
Griffin’s stink with DeGeneres is apparently somewhat of an onion. Peel back the layers, and the whole thing supposedly stems from another alleged feud with another comedic legend.
In a November 2016 interview with Access Hollywood, Griffin said her bad blood with DeGeneres is rooted in DeGeneres’ rocky relationship with the late Joan Rivers. “In my very last dinner with Joan Rivers, we would always check in with each other, and I’d be like, ‘Where are you with Ellen?’ and she’d be like, ‘Ugh, still hates me!’ And she’d go, ‘Well, what about you?’ and I’d say, ‘Oh, she thinks I’m mean,'” Griffin said. “The truth is, I guess I feel like I’m sticking up for a pal. … There’s so few female comics over 50 … I wish we were better at supporting each other.”
Griffin continued with a passive-aggressive compliment of sorts: “Joan Rivers didn’t have a mean bone in her body, and I wish Ellen would have really celebrated her more because Ellen has such an amazing, incredible platform,” she said, adding, “Joan broke the glass ceiling for women talk show hosts.”
When NBC’s First Dates launched in April 2017, it appeared to have all the makings of a hit show. Executive produced by DeGeneres and narrated by Drew Barrymore, the series set out to “explore all of the simple wonders of a first date.”
But according to In Touch, the relationship between the show’s celebrity duo may be anything but amorous. “Ellen and Drew are a case of oil and water,” a source told the mag. “Ellen expected to be the one calling the shots, but Drew thinks she should have creative control because she’s the movie star people are tuning in to see.”
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were one of the morning show circuit’s favorite couples while co-hosting Live! with Kelly and Michael from 2012 to 2016, but when the latter abruptly announced he was leaving the show to join ABC’s Good Morning America, their relationship quickly crumbled.
When DeGeneres invited Strahan to appear on her show in October 2017, Ripa was reportedly none too pleased. According to Star (via Gossip Cop), “Cozying up with Michael was like telling the world she had taken his side and was taunting Kelly,” which left Ripa “livid.”
The tabloid claimed that “it took [DeGeneres] a little while, but after the show aired, she realized how hurtful it must have been” and allegedly reached out to Ripa to apologize.
During a headline-making appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2015, Jenner was asked about same-sex marriage and admitted, “At first, I was not for it.”
Following that interview, DeGeneres accused Jenner of passing “judgement against gay people and marriage” during an interview with Howard Stern. The talk show host even quipped, “Maybe [Jenner] didn’t want to dance with me [on the show] because I’m a lesbian.”
Jenner revisted that infamous interview with DeGeneres years later in her memoir, The Secrets of My Life, and during an appearance with radio personality Andy Cohen. “I got burnt by Ellen on marriage equality,” she told Cohen, explaining that DeGeneres had asked Jenner before the interview to talk about her shifting views on marriage equality. Jenner agreed. “I kind of explained my progression … but then all of a sudden, Ellen comes back and says, ‘Sounds like you’re really not for it.’ I said, ‘No I just said I was for it but it was a progression.’ She went on Howard Stern and kind of upped the ante and Howard goes, ‘Yah, I can’t believe Caitlyn’s not for marriage equality.'”
Jenner also addressed the controversial dancing comment, clapping back, “Why should somebody in my community say something like that? I don’t think it helps the community. I don’t think it helps me. I don’t think it helps her. I would have danced with her in a heartbeat. She never asked me to dance.”
DeGeneres ruffled a lot of feathers when she took to Twitter in 2017 to wish Katy Perry a happy birthday.
“Happy birthday, @KatyPerry! It’s time to bring out the big balloons!” DeGeneres wrote, cheekily referencing a line from the singer’s hit 2013 song, “Birthday.” The post would perhaps have been innocent enough, if not for the fact that the talk show host paired her well-wishes with a snap of herself gawking at the pop star’s breasts, highlighting the lyric’s sexual innuendo.
Backlash against DeGeneres was swift and severe, with some even comparing her to disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. Celebrities also voiced disapproval, including actor Michael Rapaport, who tweeted, “Imagine if Cam Newton or any other man sent out this tweet & photo.”
One of the most vocal critics was TV journalist Piers Morgan, who tweeted, “If a man made this joke, Ellen would lead the cries of ‘SEXIST PIG!'”
Morgan used those same words to describe DeGeneres in 2016, after she displayed a shirtless photo of Chris Hemsworth during her People’s Choice Awards acceptance speech. “I was disgusted,” Morgan wrote in the Daily Mail. “In fact, I’ve never been so offended by anything in my entire life.”