Maybe you didn’t notice, but Ellen DeGeneres was very Ricky-Gervais-like when she hosted the Oscar Awards on Sunday.
Usually, the comedian and talk show host is silly rather than snarky, but the other night she threw a some really good stingers at a few celebrities in the audience. But perhaps the stinger that received the most attention was the one she hurled at Liza Minnelli.
“And I have to say one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have seen in my entire life,” said DeGeneres from the stage, which of course drew lots of chuckles. “Just really, seriously, Good job, sir.”
When the camera panned over to Minnelli, she wasn’t smiling at all. In fact, it was easy to see that she was uncomfortable, and recently she told TMZ she thought DeGeneres took things too far.
“I think she thought it would be funny,” said the legendary entertainer. “But she never stopped after she said it, so I think it went a little astray on her.”
And Minnelli wasn’t the only one who felt offended. Steve Schonberg, theater-writer and big Minnelli supporter, created a petition on Change.org to get DeGeneres to apologize.
And despite the comedian being gay herself, Schonberg said he found her joke to be homophobic. “Specifically, I was most offended that Ellen would act that way as a fellow gay person,” wrote Schonberg. “Liza has been such an avid supporter of our community, even during the peak of the AIDS crisis, and simply put, I think she deserves more respect.”
But Minnelli didn’t believe DeGeneres was being disrespectful, she just thinks she was being too harsh, and even though the 67 year old probably wishes the joke was never made, she still feels it didn’t come from a mean place.
“I don’t think she meant any harm at all,” said Minnelli. “She’s a wonderful lady.”
Image via YouTube