Our point is not to call Ellen a bitch or even to claim that she’s delusional, but it’s impossible for us to read these quotes and not hear a woman who’s so bound up in a certain image of herself (the “nice lady”) that she not only can’t fathom that the criticisms are true, she refuses to believe they’re coming from a genuine place. She has called it an “orchestrated” campaign and suggested that it’s rooted in misogyny. But like Halston or Colton, her high self-regard is bound up in her queerness and rooted in her coming out. A huge part of the reason she adopted the “nice lady” image was because of the hurt she suffered (both personally and professionally) when she came out in the 1997 on the cover of Time. Five years after that setback, she launched her talk show, at a time when anti-gay bills and anti-gay marriage amendments were ricocheting all over the country and gaining popularity. It was a revelation at the time for middle America (the audience she needed to be successful) to see a happy, non-threatening, likeable queer woman on their TV screen – and she knew that. We have no doubt the allegations of cruelty shocked her and hurt her, given how much she thinks she has to project a certain image of kindness.
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