LOS ANGELES • Ellen DeGeneres, one of the United States' most popular television personalities, faced a barrage of criticism on Wednesday after comparing her self-isolation in a multi-million-dollar mansion to being in prison.
DeGeneres, whose daily television talk show had been off the air for three weeks because of a stay-at-home order, returned earlier this week with a show filmed from one of her California homes.
"One thing that I've learnt from being in quarantine is that people – this is like being in jail, is what it is," quipped DeGeneres, who was filmed in an armchair looking out on vast, grassy lawns and mountains.
"It's mostly because I've been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay," she said, laughing at her own joke.
While DeGeneres, 62, also praised health workers and others on the front lines battling the coronavirus epidemic, the prison joke did not go down well.
"I have friends and loved ones who are incarcerated. They are locked down in horrific conditions and terrified what is going to happen to them. Your 'joke' about being quarantined at home being like that is unfunny and disrespectful," tweeted social justice activist Diana #FreeThemAll4PublicHealth.
More than 280 inmates and 400 staff in New York prisons have been infected with the coronavirus and at least seven people have died, according to the New York Department of Corrections.
In Chicago, about 230 detainees in Cook County jails have tested positive for the virus, along with 92 staff.
Louisiana has also reported coronavirus-related deaths among prison inmates.
"Hey @TheEllenShow, prisoners across this country are trapped in 24-hour quarantine in cells thRead More – Source