The Ellen DeGeneres Show Returns After a Summer of Controversy:

So, that went viral, and two days later Porter followed up with, “Well this got out of hand! It’s now hard to tell which stories are real or not, so I’ve rounded up to 300 and donated $600!”

Dots were quick connected and it turned out Porter had an issue with DeGeneres for awhile, having posted a scathing response last year to the photo of her sitting next to former President George W. Bush at a football game in October. Or, more expressly, his response was to what the talk show host said about the reactions to the picture (which rubbed some people the wrong way for a variety of reasons), including, “When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone—doesn’t matter.”

Porter wrote on Medium, “Over the course of a career built ostensibly on a comedy of empathy, DeGeneres has in reality reduced the idea of having character to a marketing strategy, diminishing ‘kindness’ to a dinky parlor trick deployed for status and profit. Along the way, she’s actually been rather, well, unkind.” He mentioned a “decades-old Los Angeles whisper network of people who have encountered a cruel DeGeneres off camera, either in passing or in her employment. The stories have never risen to tarnishing her national image but dog her enough to have warranted a curiously vacant on-the-record denial.” 

He linked out to a December 2018 New York Times profile of DeGeneres, in which, referring to rumors that she wasn’t always nice to people she works with, she said, “That bugs me if someone is saying that because it’s an outright lie. The first day I said: ‘The one thing I want is everyone here to be happy and proud of where they work, and if not, don’t work here.’ No one is going to raise their voice or not be grateful. That’s the rule to this day.”

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