Ellen DeGeneres is known as one of the cleverest, funniest, and most casual comedians on television today while also being held in very high regard as one of Hollywood’s nicest people. It is rare for someone to have something negative to say about Ellen or her show, which tends to be known as a feelgood comedy show that aims to do some good in the world and make people feel better about themselves.
Unfortunately, it seems that Ellen has completely missed the mark this time, and people are furious with the way that Ellen decided to portray Nicki Minaj in a short video sketch. As BET reported, the parody sketch was designed to be funny, but it swiftly made people feel uncomfortable as it hinted at casual racism with its focus on Minaj’s behind.
— BET (@BET) October 13, 2015
The parody sketch came about following Nicki’s earlier announcement that she would be working with ABC Family on a new sitcom based on her childhood growing up in Queens. As Vox reported, anyone who has paid any real attention to Nicki would know that she is not just about raunchy videos and revealing outfits, but that she is a clever businessperson and a great believer in children and youths, speaking many times on the importance of staying in school and extolling the virtues of hard work.
If anyone would know this, you would think it would be Ellen DeGeneres, as Minaj has appeared on Ellen’s show on many occasions, and Ellen has frequently referred to Minaj as one of her closest friends.
Ellen gave a short introduction before launching into the short parody film.
“It was just announced that Nicki Minaj is producing a sitcom of her childhood growing up in Queens, New York. It’s not on the air yet, but I called in a favor and I was able to get us a very exclusive sneak peek. This is totally real, not something we put together as a joke.”
The video showed a young girl portraying Nicki Minaj in her childhood, and her awkward, overly scripted conversations with her parents. Nothing that was said or done was intended to be a joke, except for the fact that all three actors had enormous behinds. To top it off, the family dog entered as the clip was ending, and even he had an enormous, human-shaped behind. The clip consisted of the characters clumsily knocking things over while trying to navigate a regular-sized room with their enormous derrieres.
— IG: DJCONARTIST75 (@djconartist75) October 12, 2015
The video has been taken down from Ellen’s website and her official YouTube page, but Gawker managed to capture the clip and feature it on their website before it was taken down from everywhere else. Click here to watch the controversial Ellen video.
Vox acknowledged that Ellen has to find a lot of material to fill her five one-hour time slots every week, and there are always going to be hits and misses when it comes to comedy. They put it beautifully when they pointed out exactly what was wrong with Ellen’s parody video.
“A white woman giggling her way through an introduction to a clip in which a black family bumbles around with padded backsides isn’t hard to see as stunningly tone-deaf. The only joke is that everyone in the family shares ‘unusual’ bodies that are so out of place that they literally can’t fit in.”
This is not the first time that Ellen DeGeneres has parodied Nicki Minaj, as it was only two years ago that Ellen dressed up as Nicki Minaj for her Halloween-themed show.
— [kie.ran] (@danblackroyd) September 24, 2015
Only that time, Ellen focused on Minaj’s hair and her barely concealed (fake) chest.
“Let me start by saying my eyes are up here.”
Ellen made no mention of Nicki Minaj’s behind, but explained that her costume was based on Nicki’s real clothes that she wore during an on-air interview a few weeks prior.
“She took our show from PG to double D.”
It will be very interesting to see what kind of response Nicki Minaj makes to Ellen’s parody video, and whether Ellen herself will have any comment to make.
[Photo: Craig Barritt, Kevin Winter / Getty Images]