Ellen DeGeneres' "nice" public image has taken a beating in recent months but the TV host is no stranger to being bashed by the media.
It's been a bad year for a lot of people, but particularly for Ellen DeGeneres.
After offhandedly referring to coronavirus shelter-in-place restrictions as being "like jail" from inside her multimillion-dollar Californian mansion, negative reports about DeGeneres have flowed like a fast moving comedy sketch.
The die was first cast in December, after actor Dakota Johnson accused her of lying and giving her "a bunch of sh*t" about not being invited to her birthday party.
It's likely the period has been uncomfortable for Ellen, who last year defended spending time with President George W Bush by saying, "We're all different and I think that we've forgotten that that's okay that we're all different."
But being bashed by the press is not new for Ellen DeGeneres. Throughout her career, she's been criticised for being gay, for being rich and for being too nice.
In 2018, Vanity Fair called Ellen "daytime's most established personality". But the publication took pains to point out that Ellen's cult of personality and large personal wealth was hard fought for.
DeGeneres has had a long career as a comedian, and since coming out in 1997, she has not always received universal praise from critics.
When she came out, both as her character on her sitcom Ellen and in real life on the Oprah Winfrey Show, she was subjected to intense public scrutiny by the tabloids. Her network backed away from promoting the following season and after ratings fell, the show was cancelled.
She struggled to find work for three years after coming out, and was hounded by the media over her relationship with actor Anne Heche. Reports from the period described her as "angry" and "depressed".
As she recovered from the fallout, Ellen rebuilt her career on specific foundations: kindness, good PR, stability, and doing things on her own terms.
Since then, Ellen has shored up her personal life, her finances, and her profile and built buttresses of sunshine and platitudes. But a big part of her brand — being "nice" all of the time, has been flawed for some years.
A 2007 W Magazine interview catches Ellen at a relative career high, six years after she came out. Ellen, it said, was "on top of the world" as she prepared to host the Academy Awards, and talked proudly about her relationship with actor Portia Di Rossi.
The article says she'd been picked to host as the Academy stepped away from a streak of satirical and nasty hosts, which Ellen called an "easy" way to make jokes.
"I mean, it's not like I don't do that sometimes, around my friends; it's not like I'm being duplicitous," she said.
"It's just that I think that there's a time and place for something to be funny at an expense. But I don't think you do it publicly."
But in the same interview Ellen called comedian Kathy Griffin "very mean" and said she wasn't welcome as a guest on her own show.
"I didn't ban her from the show, because first you have to be on the show to be banned," she added.
The comments have come back to bite DeGeneres, after former co-workers, industry insiders and a restaurant worker accused the star of mistreating them behind closed doors.
DeGeneres' "jail" comparison, made at the start of April, was called "tone deaf" and the episode was quickly deleted from Ellen's YouTube channel. But since that time, hundreds of Twitter users have taken to continually trolling her posts online.
An Architectural Digest article from 2019, running through a timeline of DeGeneres' Olympian level real estate exploits, is enough to make anyone break a sweat.
The New York Times also wrote a lengthy piece about DeGeneres' architectural exploits in 2014, but despite DeGeneres' comments having a celebratory tone, the publication titled it: "The unsettling thing about Ellen".
The piece said during a depressed US economy, Ellen had managed to buy and sell more than six houses in seven years, and snarked she was in "home-renovation overdrive".
Some of her buyers include Heath Ledger, Will Ferrell and Tinder founder Sean Rad, and last year alone, Ellen and Di Rossi sold three houses, for the tidy profit of US $6.98 million, US $15.5 million, and US $23 million respectively. Admittedly, a total of US $45.48 million in a single year skews beyond being entirely relatable.
DeGeneres said she and Di Rossi buy and sell homes so much because "we get a little bored".
"I find something else, and we make money, why not move to another house?"
It's an easy mark to say Ellen is obscenely rich; but real estate is also something DeGeneres is clearly passionate about. In architecture articles, she is routinely described as informed, collaborative, and creative.
Fighting for gay rights is another long standing part of Ellen's personal crusade. But the position has reportedly seen her ban people from appearing on her program for slights against the gay rights movement.
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Caitlyn Jenner claimed Ellen "alienated" her from the broader LGBTI community after she appeared on her show saying she didn't approve of gay marriage.
Jenner, a complex figure, is a longtime republican, Christian, trans woman, Olympian and former reality star. She described herself in her memoir as a "traditionalist" and said she's always believed marriage to be between a man and woman. Jenner wrote she'd later come to accept gay marriage.
Reports also claimed actor Vince Vaughn was similarly frozen out of Ellen's circle after a trailer for his 2011 film The Dilemma included him joking about electric cars being "gay".
The pair reportedly patched things up some years later, and he was able to appear on the show again.
DeGeneres possibly understands her own situation better than anyone else, and said in her stand-up special Relatable in 2018 that she had painted herself into a prison of personality.
"When you do something stupid, you're just a person someone saw doing something stupid," she told the audience.
"When I do something stupid, it's a story."