In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.
There’s a pattern forming when it comes to Ellen Degeneres and the guests she’s been bringing on her show lately. A pattern that shows off her privilege as a queer white woman in the public sphere and that has been worrying many for the last couple weeks. A pattern of being a connoisseur of fluff pieces and interviews that never hit the actual controversies plaguing her guests.
And I’m tired of it.
In many ways Ellen Degeneres interviews remind me of when Jimmy Fallon had Trump on his show. Fallon was playful and funny, daring to ask to touch Trump’s like this bigoted cretin of a man wasn’t the reason for the widening divide between the American people. And it hurt Fallon, as it should, because we are in a time and place in the United States where you can’t just brush off the cruel, controversial, or ridiculous things your guests have done because you want a laugh.
This is what Ellen Degeneres has done and continues to do.
Ellen allowed Kevin Hart to give his fluffiest interview with no actual remorse for his words or the damage those words cost. And by interviewing Chris Pratt amongst the controversy about the anti LGBTQ church he attends, Ellen is doubling down on the fact that she really doesn’t care to be an ally for change as long as she gets a laugh and a good time on her show.
Ultimately, it comes down to privilege. Ellen is a white woman in Hollywood so far separated from the ACTUAL queer community that she doesn’t understand what is hurting us, the change that we need, and the voice that we are desperate to have to question men like Kevin Hart who are homophobes and men like Chris Pratt who are whole-fully ignorant of the damage funding anti-LGBTQ churches really have on our community.
So, this is me saying enough is enough. Ellen isn’t an ally to the LGBTQ community when she doesn’t listen to queer POC when they express concerns about the damage Kevin Hart’s cruel words have on the POC queer community. And Ellen isn’t an ally of the LGBTQ community when she brings on Chris Pratt for the fluffiest interview ever, full of laughs and no actual substance, just on the tails of Ellen Page calling him out for his ignorance.
Ellen is just perpetuating the same kind of damaging behavior that has caused Jimmy Fallon to slip in ratings when it comes to his late night show. The kind of behavior that ignores the hurt, distress, and actual pain that Kevin Hart’s words have caused. And the kind of behavior that says it’s ok to ignore actual issues such as conversion therapy because Ellen has to make one of the Chris’s laugh.
It’s all convenient bullshit from a woman who is so far removed from the LGBTQ community that she wouldn’t know a pride parade if it hit her in the face because she’s too busy making sure that the Kevin Hart’s and Chris Pratt’s of the world have a stage to scrub their controversies away with a bucket of laughs.
And I am done.
No more brushing actual issues aside that pertain to the LGBTQ community because it’s easy or accepting people that ignore the pain that we have gone through and still continue to go through. No more staying quiet. No more accepting the queer allyship that Ellen Degeneres ACTS like she truly understands. No more waiting our turn for someone to stand up for us.
We have to stand up for ourselves, make our voices heard, and seek out better allies to help in our continued fight to support and protect the LGBTQ people of this world. So, this is me asking for names, books, organizations, and people that are actual pillars of support and change. I’m going to be on the lookout myself, but if you know ally that has your back or that of others in the queer community, please let me know here in the comments or on Twitter.
Because I’m done with fluff, frills, and those who think that our important issues don’t have to be addressed because it’s time for a good ol’ laugh. I’m done with Ellen Degeneres.
Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)
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