“One thing I learned while in quarantine is that people – it’s like being in jail, that’s what it is. “
LOS ANGELES – Ellen DeGeneres, one of the most popular television personalities in the United States, faced a barrage of criticism Wednesday after comparing her self-isolation in a multi-million dollar mansion to the prison.
DeGeneres, whose daily TV show had been suspended for three weeks due to a stay at home command, returned on Wednesday with a show filmed by his wife, actress Portia De Rossi, in one of their homes in California.
“One thing I learned while in quarantine is that people – it’s like being in prison, that’s what it is,” joked DeGeneres, who was filmed in an armchair with view of vast grassy lawns and mountains.
“It’s mainly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone here is gay,” she said, laughing at her own joke.
While DeGeneres has also praised front-line health workers and others struggling with the coronavirus epidemic, the joke in prison has not worked well.
“I have real friends and relatives who are currently incarcerated. They are locked in horrible conditions and terrified of what will happen to them. Your “joke” about being quarantined at home like this is funny and disrespectful, “tweeted social justice activist Diana # FreeThemAll4PublicHealth.
More than 280 inmates and 400 New York prison staff have been infected with the coronavirus and at least seven people have died, according to the New York Department of Corrections.
In Chicago, some 230 inmates from Cook County jails tested positive for the virus, as did 92 staff.
Louisiana also reported deaths from coronavirus among inmates.
“Hey @TheEllenShow, prisoners across the country are trapped in 24-hour quarantine in cells that are probably the size of one of your showers and others sleep 3 feet from sick inmates. And they die. You don’t live close to prison, ”Caleb Grossman wrote on Twitter.
The backlash was the latest example of celebrities being called in for what appeared to be deaf comments and social media posts as the pandemic put millions of Americans out of work and killed more than 14,000 in the United States.
Last month, DeGeneres was criticized for complaining of being bored in the videos she posted of herself lying on a sofa at her home.
(Report by Jill Serjeant Editing by Bill Berkrot)