Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think

Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think

Feeling boxed in by her reputation for kindness, the comic is weighing whether to leave daytime TV, as her wife wants, or to stay, as her brother urges.

Ellen DeGeneres has a new special, “Relatable,” spoofing her image. Her wife, Portia de Rossi, says, “She’s just a bit more complicated than she appears” on daytime TV.  [Photo: Ryan Pfluger for The New York Times]

Ellen DeGeneres has a new special, “Relatable,” spoofing her image. Her wife, Portia de Rossi, says, “She’s just a bit more complicated than she appears” on daytime TV. [Photo: Ryan Pfluger for The New York Times]

Ellen DeGeneres got sick of dancing, and really, can you blame her?

She has to be the only 60-year-old woman in America who is expected to dance with total strangers wherever she goes. “There’s been times someone wants a picture, and while I’m doing a selfie, they’re like: ‘You’re not dancing!,’” DeGeneres said in her office on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. “Of course I’m not dancing. I’m walking down the street.”

As she prepares to release her first comedy special in 15 years, DeGeneres is considering a much bigger change, retiring from the long-running hit show that bears her name. She’s been receiving conflicting advice from her wife, the actress Portia de Rossi, and from her older brother, Vance DeGeneres, a comedian, and has changed her mind more than once.

This remarkable profile, written by Jason Zinoman for The New York Times, shows Ellen DeGeneres to be far more complex than viewers of daytime TV might guess. It’s well-worth a read.

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