Titi Pierce works as a realtor in Warner Robins, Ga. and received many phone calls from strangers, mocking and ridiculing her about her name. Many of the callers laughed uncontrollably and mocked Pierce in a harassing fashion after a breast joke was made on Ellen’s show.
According to a report by the Metro, it turns out her name had come up in a segment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where Ellen featured “What’s Wrong With These Signs?” on a show which aired February 22.
You can watch the segment here with Pierce’s cellphone number blurred:
What possibly made matters even worse is that the image displayed prior to Pierce’s was a sign reading “Nipple Convalescent Home,” which is unrelated to Pierce. However, after showing that sign, DeGeneres then paused for effect, before making the breast joke by showing a sign with Pierce’s name and a cellphone number clearly displayed.
Ellen said: “Titty Pierce, sounds like she might have spent some time in that nipple home, I don’t know.”
Pierce has filed a federal lawsuit against Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Thursday and among her claims she says the show invaded her privacy by airing her name and personal cellphone number, while also intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
Reportedly, Pierce is seeking unspecified monetary damages from Warner Bros. and wants them to stop airing that particular segment of Ellen’s show on TV, the Internet and social media.
Stacey Godfrey Evans, attorney for Pierce, says her client wants to “stand up and say this is wrong and this is not how we treat people. We need to be more thoughtful than this.”
— Ellen DeGeneres News (@EllenDGenresNws) June 5, 2016
Saying Pierce is a “real person with real feelings,” Evans added, “She is a private, proud person, and she was humiliated on national television not once, but twice,” adding Pierce also wants to “to deter this kind of conduct in the future. Folks need to think twice before they smear a person on national television.”
Pierce, 35, is employed as an electronics engineer at Robins Air Force Base, but also sells real estate for a local office.
Reportedly, her mother named her Titi after consulting a Nigerian book of baby names shared with her by a friend. The word Titi means “flower,” and it is reportedly pronounced “tee tee.” According to Pierce, never in her life has anyone referred to her in a derogatory fashion relating to a woman’s breast, until now.
When the segment was shown on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, initially the real estate sign showed her name and personal cellphone number at the top, while a second number at the bottom of the sign was blurred out.
While Pierce didn’t see the initial airing of the show, she received phone calls while driving to a funeral in Tampa, Florida, during the wake and at the funeral itself.
Her co-workers and the real estate office did their best to ward off the never-ending, harassing phone calls following the breast joke, by issuing a statement on the company’s Facebook page, saying, “Loving that our own Titi Pierce of CBRF (Coldwell Banker Robbins & Free) was on the Ellen DeGeneres show, but wish it was because they knew how fabulous and classy Titi is and not to poke fun. We love you Titi and are proud to have you in the CBRF Family.”
Reportedly, Pierce called the Ellen show on February 24 and March 14, telling staffers the correct pronunciation of her name and complaining that her personal cellphone number hadn’t been blurred out. She requested the show to stop referencing her on air or on social media.
The footage was changed at some point with the cellphone number blurred on the show’s Facebook page, but reportedly, on April 15, the show aired on TV again, with the number clearly visible. According to Pierce, she received more phone calls following that second airing.
According to a report by the Kansas City Star, a Warner Bros. spokesman declined comment Friday, saying the company has not yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit.
[Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]