Ellen DeGeneres took to the stage last night to host the 2014 Academy Awards and one joke made by the comedian about actress Liza Minnelli has some people seeing red.
“Hello to the best Liza Minnelli impersonator I’ve ever seen,” DeGeneres joked about the icon who has been a favorite subject for female impersonators and drag artists over the years. “Good job, sir.”
As the Washington Post (who referred to Minnelli as a "rumored plastic surgery devotee") notes, a number of people took to Twitter to express their outrage, with some calling the comment "transphobic." Prominent director Bruce LaBruce was among those to be critical of the Minnelli joke.
I did not appreciate Ellen's mean joke about Liza. I found it transphobic and disrespectful.
— Bruce LaBruce (@BruceLaBruce) March 3, 2014
DeGeneres is the latest celebrity to come under fire for what some perceived as committing an offense to the transgender community. Last month transgender writer Janet Mock sat down for an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, later taking to Twitter to slam the news anchor for "sensationalizing" her life through the interview's packaging. Additionally, Katie Couric landed herself in hot water for questioning transgender model Carmen Carrera about her "private parts" in early January. And actress Gabourey Sidibe also recently caught flak and apologized for repeatedly using a transphobic slur while on the "Arsenio Hall Show."
Check out DeGeneres' comment in the video above. What do you think? Was DeGeneres' joke transphobic? Let us know in the poll and comments below.