Jaybeau Jones

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TV show host Ellen Degeneres appears at "The Ellen Degeneres Show" Season 13 Bi-Coastal Premiere at Rockefeller Center on September 8, 2015 in New York City.

Why is it a tragedy?

After nineteen seasons, this week television comic Ellen told her shrinking audience it was time to move on. She said she “trusted her instincts” that told her it’s time. Were these the same instincts that pushed her to behave poorly to her staff and guests?

To me and millions of people, there is no doubt that Ellen is an enormously talented comic. Add to that her show was innovative and fun. Add to that, like her last name, it appeared Ellen DeGeneres was GENEROUS, always giving money and cool prizes to people in need.

So what the %^$# happened?

How is it that Ellen, starting from innocent beginnings as a struggling, loveable comic, became Hollywood’s most famous meany? Who knows. Maybe she was always that way, but her rise to the top finally exposed her. Just because some have the talent to attract fame and wealth, that doesn’t mean they are built for the pressures that come with it.

I remember one day watching Ellen a couple of years ago, where she pulled three young women out of the audience for one of the games they play. One of the young women, maybe in her early thirties, was well dressed and was SO HAPPY to be meeting her hero, Ellen. That moment ended when Ellen asked her what she did for a living. The woman replied proudly, “I’m a consultant.” Ellen with split second timing replied, “So you’re unemployed.” While there were snickers from the audience, the poor woman, embarrassed, smiled it off. But to me, it wasn’t the right way to go for the laugh, at the expense of a fan. The young woman wasn’t a goofy audience member who deserved the dig. You save a joke like that for someone of equal status sitting next you on the couch promoting a movie, not a regular person, meeting her hero on her favorite show.  It was an awkward moment that would make Letterman cringe.  I said to myself, “wow, that is mean.”

The tragedy is that many folks on Ellen’s staff will lose a job next year, because of a mean boss. The tragedy is that many of Ellen’s fans, after investing years of support and laughs, are finding out the sad truth about a hero. The tragedy of Ellen, is Ellen.

I hope Ellen uses her Oprah sit down this month to come clean and ask for forgiveness. This time, maybe, don’t trust your instincts.