Since her talk show premiered in 2003, Ellen DeGeneres has cultivated an image as America’s fun aunt, playing pranks on celebrities and making adorable children go viral. It seems like everyone loves Ellen, but her reputation in the entertainment is actually a lot more complicated than that. Over the years, there have been many stories and rumors about her behavior when the cameras aren’t rolling—more on that in a minute. But first, let’s get to a viral moment from Ellen last week that has made my messy bitch side come alive. Enter, Dakota Johnson.
Last Wednesday, Dakota went on Ellen’s show, and one of the most awkward television interviews ever began when Ellen brought up Dakota’s recent 30th birthday. Ellen said she wasn’t invited to Dakota’s birthday, and all of a sudden, a switch flipped in Dakota. She responded, saying “Actually, no, that’s not the truth, Ellen, you were invited. No, last time I was on the show, last year, you gave me a bunch of sh*t about not inviting you, but I didn’t even know you wanted to be invited.”
AND I F*CKING OOP. I didn’t know Dakota had this in her, and I’m a little bit in awe. Ellen responded, asking why she wouldn’t want to be invited to a party, to which Dakota said “I didn’t even know you liked me.” LOLLLLL. Both of them seemed pretty unhappy at this point, and the tension was…a lot. They went back and forth a bit more, which included Dakota asking the Ellen producer to verify that she was invited, and the producer confirmed it, saying Ellen didn’t go because she was out of town. (What’s even funnier is that this was the same weekend Ellen got sh*t for watching that football game with George W. Bush. There are so many layers here!) Here’s the full video, so you can feel the awkward vibes for yourself:
Reactions online to the interview have been mixed. While a lot of people have applauded Dakota Johnson for standing her ground and not letting Ellen walk all over her, others weren’t as pleased. Many felt like Dakota kind of ambushed Ellen on her own show, and that her response felt unnecessarily icy. I see both sides of this, but personally, this is the kind of interview I want to watch. If Dakota had gone on Ellen and just told some lame story about her birthday party, I most likely wouldn’t have watched, and I certainly wouldn’t be writing this article about it. Watching Dakota grill Ellen about why she didn’t come to the party felt like a Real Housewives confrontation unfolding in real time, and well, I love Real Housewives.
Dakota Johnson might be one of the first celebs to publicly push back with Ellen, but this is likely just a peek at the behind-the-scenes issues many people have with her. Let’s start with the obvious. If you’re familiar with Ellen’s show, you probably know that she loves to scare her celebrity guests. Obviously some people are more into this than others, but sometimes it just feels mean. In 2017, Sarah Paulson went on the show, and her nightmare started when Ellen snuck up on her in her dressing room. Then, during her interview, she was ambushed by clowns two different times, ultimately crawling under the coffee table. It felt like a little much, and Sarah definitely wasn’t having a good time.
Another time, Ellen hosted the teenage boys from the Stranger Things cast on her show, and they played a dumb game where they had to pull teeth from a giant monster’s mouth. The boys were laughing and having a good time, and the segment would’ve been fun, except for the fact that Ellen looked like she was ready to cut a bitch the whole time. Maybe she was just having a bad day, but she did a really bad job of hiding it. It came across like she was fed up with her guests, which isn’t a great look for a talk show host.
Having some minor awkwardness with her guests is one thing, but sources have claimed that she’s downright cruel to many of the people who work for her. In 2016, someone who had worked at the show told Radar Online that on set, “She’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She’s so nice to celebrities, but Ellen demands that junior staffers don’t speak to her, touch her or even look at her.” Another source agreed, saying that Ellen “treats staffers as if they are her peasants,” and that “Staffers never know what she’ll go off on, or who she’ll target.” Another former member of her writing staff in the early 2000s wrote that she treated her writers “like sh*t.”
Judging from those quotes, it seems like Ellen DeGeneres fits all the classic traits of a toxic boss, and if these stories are true, they’re a far cry from Ellen’s warm and friendly TV persona. No one can be expected to be bubbly and fun 100% of the time, but this kind of behavior really isn’t acceptable when it’s coming from an employer.
At this point, Ellen is basically an American institution, and I doubt that one uncomfortable moment with Dakota Johnson is really going to damage her sparkling reputation. But I guess my bigger question is why her reputation is still so sparkling in the first place? While gossip sites and blogs are full of rumors and sources detailing Ellen’s troubling behavior, mainstream publications have largely steered clear of criticizing Ellen. Because the average soccer mom isn’t digging through gossip blogs, it makes sense that their beloved Ellen remains untarnished. I don’t know how long this will last, but it’s always interesting when a crack in the façade appears for a brief moment. And for that, Dakota Johnson, I thank you.
Images: Shutterstock; TheEllenShow / YouTube (2)
Is it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to keep up with new celebrity couples? While some couples are all over Instagram with each other, others play it so low-key that you have to dig through tabloids and paparazzi photos to even know if they’re still hanging out. There have been some interesting new celebrity couples recently, but I’m not convinced that all of them will last until the end of this sentence. Who’s bound to get engaged, and who’s just fucking around? These are my predictions about some of the most interesting new celebrity couples. I don’t have a crystal ball or anything, so lmk in the comments if you think any of my guesses are wrong. I can’t promise to care, though.
1. Hailey Baldwin & Justin Bieber
Once-upon-a-time fuckbuddies Hailey and Justin have recently reignited their relationship, and it seems to be going well. After they were spotted making out all over NYC, they’ve been seen hanging out more, including going to church together in LA. That’s a favorite date activity for Justin, but does it mean that he’s serious about Hailey? I have to say, the fact that they’re currently rocking the exact same haircut is both cute and disgusting. I think they’re having fun for the summer, but Justin will get distracted by the time Labor Day rolls around.
2. Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson
I’ve already spent way too much mental energy on Pete and Ariana’s absurd relationship, so I won’t rehash all the details here. Despite the questionable timeline of their relationship and engagement, I actually think they could be the real deal. Assuming they don’t fuck things up by getting married too soon, I could see them being together for a long time. Like, years. But also maybe they could cool it with the Instagram posts, just a little?
3. Dakota Johnson & Chris Martin
Dakota and Chris have been dating since last fall, so they’re the least new couple on this list, but we also know very little about them. I respect that they want to keep things private, but I’d also like more details please. Sources say they’ve been getting serious and that Dakota has recently been spending a lot of time at Chris’ place in Malibu. Dakota seems like kind of a wet blanket, but considering that Chris spent years with Gwyneth Paltrow, Dakota probably seems like Snooki in comparison. I see this relationship lasting for another six months to a year, but I doubt this will end in a wedding.
4. Anwar Hadid & Sonia Ben Ammar
We already discussed how the youngest Hadid was seen hanging out with this French-Tunisian model just days after making out with Kendall Jenner. Are they dating? Is this the beginning of a relationship? I have no idea, but I’m predicting one of two things: either Anwar has already blocked Sonia’s number and moved on to someone new, or they will be together for a long time. Actually no, I’m definitely going with the first one. He’s too young and too pretty to settle down, and he just got out of a serious relationship. Anwar is definitely DTF with any hot model right now.
5. Kendall Jenner & Ben Simmons
It’s been nearly a month since Kendall Jenner was first seen hanging out with NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, and a lot has happened. Mainly, things were complicated when Kendall was seen making out with Anwar Hadid earlier this month. This all feels so incestuous, but I’m also turned on? Since her night out with Anwar, Kendall has been seen with Ben multiple times, signaling that they’re at least a little serious. They even went grocery shopping together, which is such an adult choice of activities. Idk if Kendall is in the mood for anything major, but it’s the off-season for Ben, so it makes sense for them to have fun. Who knows, Maybe Kendall is destined to become a basketball wife?
6. Nick Jonas & Priyanka Chopra
This is truly one of the most random celebrity couples in recent memory, but they’re looking more and more real. After attending the Met Gala “as friends,” Nick and Priyanka quickly evolved into an It Couple, and now there are even rumors that they’re going to get engaged soon. I still feel strongly that Nick Jonas is meant to end up with me, so I can’t say I’m a fan, but Priyanka is an amazing catch. I can also see Nick getting along well with someone older, so maybe this couple is really going to last. I’m calling it now, they’re going to have beautiful babies together.
Images: moonlight_jdrew, petedavidson, dakotajohnson, modelsstylee, benxkendall, ericpriyanka / Instagram