• Wed, Apr 16 - 9:50 am ET

I Hope This Video Of Ellen Torturing Her Shy Employee Is A Joke, But It Doesn’t Look Like It

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When Ellen DeGeneres isn’t having fun with her celebrity guests, a lot of times she has fun with her show’s employees. Most of the time she’s doing something like sending Andy Lassner and Amy Rhodes to a haunted house to watch them be terrified. Andy and Amy seem like outgoing people who are cool with looking silly on camera, so I feel okay with laughing. But the latest employee-related segment Ellen did made me really uncomfortable.

Coachella is going on now, as evidenced by the many celebrities we’ve seen pretending to be hippies. Ellen’s staff member Jacqueline apparently went to the festival and let loose a bit, which was surprising and amusing to Ellen because Jacqueline is very shy and quiet. So obviously she decided to put Jacqueline on the spot and have her describe her Coachella experience in front of a huge audience and a TV camera. When Jacqueline first came out she looked so nervous I thought this had to be a silly bit, but I’m pretty sure it’s for real. Ellen even points out that she looks like she’s doing a character, which A.) isn’t the most comforting thing to say to a nervous person, and B.) seems to prove she’s not doing a character.

I’ve also been a pretty shy person my whole life, and I know from personal experience that more outgoing people often get a kick out of making shy people squirm. They also tend to get a kick out of witnessing or hearing about a normally quiet or reserved person doing something like sitting on people’s shoulders at Coachella. It’s embarrassing to be put on display like that. I never want my concept of Ellen as a kind and wonderful person to be shattered, so I’m going to assume she had the best intentions with this bit and just didn’t realize how it could end up being mean. Ellen hits it out of the park almost every day on her show, so she’s bound to slip up sometimes.

(GIF: Tumblr)

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    “I never want my concept of Ellen as a kind and wonderful person to be shattered, so I’m going to assume she had the best intentions with this bit and just didn’t realize how it could end up being mean.” <- Same here.

    I think that people who are more outgoing don't always understand that there are people who are just not as comfortable sharing.

    • BrendaKilgour

      I think that people who have a concept of Ellen as a “kind and wonderful person” forget that she is in show business, and/or didn’t see her cruel mocking of Liza Minnelli during the Oscar telecast.

    • Kate

      That joke was definitely over the line, but it’s kind of hard to ignore all the “kind and wonderful” things Ellen done over the years for people.

  • guest

    Being terribly shy myself I feel so bad for her.
    I think that Ellen just didn’t know how awkward for the girl it would be…

    • guest

      Also, I think the worst question you can ask a shy person is : are you nervous?
      (NO I’M JUST BLUSHING, SHAKING AND SWEATING BECAUSE OF THE COLD)

    • Jill O’Rourke

      The worst. There’s also the classic “Why are you so quiet all the time?”

    • me

      and all those: “speak up, they can’t hear you over there” during presentations in class…

    • Emily

      Ellen DeGeneres just didn’t care whether she would make the girl embarrassed or not. Ellen wanted to get laughs, even so cheaply. Remember this is the woman who insisted on being on the cover of O Magazine, whose other cover people have only been Michelle Obama, Lupita Nnongo (and Dr Oz)…

  • Samantha Escobar

    1) This was hard to watch :(
    2) THAT SWEATER <3

    • Jill O’Rourke

      So cute!

  • Kate

    If Ellen wanted to be cruel, she did a pretty bad job of it. First of all. I highly doubt she expected someone pursuing a career in television production to be that painfully shy and awkward when put on the spot. She probably assumed Jacqueline would adapt, and I thought she diffused the situation pretty quickly once she realized that wasn’t going to happen. If anyone is to blame, it’s probably the poor girl’s boss Andy who either didn’t know his employee well enough to know that she would be completely mortifified OR did know that but went along with the bit anyway.

    • Kate

      Not to mention that it could have easily been edited out if it was truly that torturous and psychologically scarring. Jacqueline would have had to sign a waiver to appear on the show, so she had an opportunity to squash the bit before it aired.

  • Emily

    Ellen is disgusting. Do you see how she always tries to get the upper hand? She did not even properly thank Jacqueline for being put on the spot like that. Ellen DeGeneres just said in a mocking voice intended to get some laughs (from stupid people in the audience): Thanks, Jacqueline…
    Ellen is an annoying person which shows through in any video of an interview with a big beloved star such as Jennifer Lawrence. She can’t stand it and talks over her to have the upper hand and makes annoying faux-jokes again. Her comic capital seems to be subtlely making fun of and demeaning people, so this is not surprising at all. What’s worse is that the producer guy was laughing. At least Ellen kept her composure.