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Ellen’s Celebrity Defenders Aren’t Helping Her

From Spencer Kornhaber, writing in The Atlantic:

Famous people want the world to know that Ellen DeGeneres is nice to famous people. Addressing media reports alleging a culture of harassment and bullying at DeGeneres’s talk show, the singer Katy Perry tweeted Tuesday that she’s “only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen.” Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Hart, Jay Leno, Diane Keaton, and the superstar agent Scooter Braun have all recently made similar declarations about DeGeneres’s kindness, so as to push back against claims painting her as callous toward staffers, fans, and other entertainment-industry figures. “Looking forward to the future where we get back to loving one another,” Hart wrote, blasting those who have criticized DeGeneres and called for her to step down. “This hate shit has to stop.”

For all of this defense squadron’s star wattage, they’ve succeeded only in underscoring the point of the backlash against DeGeneres. What’s been alleged isn’t that she’s mishandled her celebrity guests. It’s that the reality-distortion field of celebrity has led to the harm of regular people—and that DeGeneres’s private conduct is out of line with her glad-handing persona.

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