The Truth Behind Ellen and Cher’s Alleged Friendship

Comedian and daytime television talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has a lot of showbiz friends. A few of her A-list celebrity pals have even become guests on her show. Late last year in 2021, Ellen included Cher in her elite roster of “best friends”. Cute, right?

But Cher savagely denied they were friends at all. Cher has been a longtime guest of Ellen’s talk show, and they have also known each other for more than two decades. So why would Cher clap back at her “friend” like that?  Let’s dive deeper into the feud between Cher and Ellen.

Ellen Got Under Cher’s Skin

Cher has been in show business since she was 19 years old. She had a hit song even before she was 20. She knows the ins and outs of Hollywoodshe’d even hosted her own variety show long before Ellen. Why would Cher brush aside Ellen’s friendship this way?

Apparently, Cher’s appearance on The Ellen Show marked the beginning of the animosity between them. Apparently, the comedian’s “kill-them-with-kindness” approach clashed with the singer’s straightforward, “shoot-from-the-hips” attitude. Cher must have sensed something about Ellen that didn’t quite pass the smell test.

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Cher Does Not Mince Her Words

Cher has long been known for her directness (she’s famously been known to swear like a sailor). Why would she be any different on The Ellen Show? Every time she appeared on the show, Cher was just being Cher.

The singer felt so strongly about denying her friendship with Ellen that she dropped some pretty strong language when describing Ellen as a person. What could have Ellen have done to deserve such a brutal clap-back from the Goddess of Pop?

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Feel the Chill On-Set and On-Screen

Cher has made multiple appearances on Ellen’s talk show. Each time she was a guest, she put on a great show. It’s fun to see music icons in a different light. Whenever celebrities guest star on a talk show, you can see them not as singers or superstars, but as relatable human beings.

Ellen evidently loves it when Cher comes on as a guest. She has every reason to want the music legend to grace her show. Unfortunately, the feeling is not mutual. There have been moments over the years when the two clearly did not get along.

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Queen of Kindness vs. The Pop Goddess?

Before the scandal about Ellen’s notoriously “unkind” attitude towards her staff and others broke the internet and destroyed her fans’ trust, the daytime show host was known as the Queen of Kindness. The show ran on that premise for 19 seasons—but alas, it was all just a facade. 

Cher probably knew that the jig would be up for her someday. Despite Ellen’s likable persona, her nice-gal-reputation, and her sunny on-screen disposition, Cher did not buy the front. Cher’s years of being in showbiz probably gave her the “nose” to sniff out that kind of personality.

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Ellen’s Dearest Friends

Despite her new, not-so-positive reputation, Ellen managed to keep some of her celebrity friends around. They did not leave her side even if many others did. Mind you—these friends are not your run-of-the-mill people—these are premier celebrities.

Jennifer Aniston remained friends with the comedian even after the scandal broke out. Ellen’s wife, Portia de Rossi, also remained true. Even talk show host Oprah Winfrey and singer Pink did not let the revelations ruin their relationships with the host.

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Is Ellen Relatable?

Ellen’s likability and relatability have waned in the past years. Her 2018 Netflix special, Relatable, did not help her cause. In it, she said that she could “never do anything unkind”. Surely, Cher, and many of the staff who have worked under her, would disagree.

Regular viewers of her daytime talk show may have missed the times when Ellen showed her dark side. They should have taken a hint when she found it fun to regularly scare her executive producer Andy Lassner in front of an audience.

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Kathy Griffin Agrees With Cher

Kathy Griffin was one of the few people to be vocal about Ellen’s true nature before the scandal surfaced. Long before Ellen’s notoriously mean attitude became public, Griffin had been telling stories of how Ellen had made her cry. 

Kathy Griffin detailed the incident in her book Celebrity Run-Ins. In it, Griffin recounted receiving a call from Ellen. After they talked, Griffin “sobbed like a baby” because of Ellen’s “mean streak”. The experience was a shock to Griffin at the time, considering how much she’d idolized Ellen before.

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Taylor Swift vs.Ellen?

Cher is not alone in her sentiments about DeGeneres. Pop megastar Taylor Swift has remained silent on the topic of Ellen for the most part. When asked to defend Ellen from accusations about the show being a toxic workplace, she held her tongue. However, her interview on The Ellen Show speaks for itself.

In Swift’s interview on the show in 2012, she seemed to be visibly annoyed at Ellen’s questions. The comedian deliberately pried into Taylor Swift’s past relationships. Flustered, the singer commented, ”Every time I come up here, you put, like, a different dude up there on the screen.”

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Dakota Johnson Stood Up to Ellen

Actress Dakota Johnson was also a guest on The Ellen Show. What was supposed to be a fun interview turned sour when Ellen geared the conversation toward Johnson’s birthday as, allegedly, the host had not been invited to Dakota’s party.

The Fifty Shades of Grey star was not having it. She declared that Ellen had been invited but said, “You didn’t come.” Though Ellen tried to smooth the situation over, Dakota obviously put her in her place.

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The Backlash Kept Lashing

Ellen received waves of backlash after her allegations came to light. Could it be karma? The second wave struck after she defended fellow comedian Kevin Hart after it was found that he had posted homophobic statements online sometime in the past.

DeGeneres was also proud of her friendship with ex-president George W. Bush. The two were seen socializing at a sports game in 2019. Some people disliked seeing Ellen with the former president, famous for his part in initiating an unpopular, two-decade-long war, but Ellen insisted that she was “just being kind.”

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Ellen Was Only Kind On-Screen?

Fans of the show were sad to hear horror stories from people who worked for Ellen. Ex-employees detailed how the host looked down on the regular people she had on as guests, instead preferring to talk with big-named celebrities.

One of her former staff even described to BuzzFeed how Ellen’s “be kind to one another” mantra was only meant for the cameras. Another ex-employee stated that Ellen was nicer to animals than to people.

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Ellen’s Friends Back Her Up

Despite the backlash and the controversy that broke out, some of Ellen’s friends continued to stay by her side. Some even publicly expressed their support to the comedian and talk show host. A few of her celebrity buddies include Katy Perry, Jay Leno, and Ashton Kutcher.

Perry described the “positive vibes” she felt whenever she was on the show. However, she emphasizes that her experience may be different from others. Considering that she tended to favor big names over the “little people”, she might be onto something.

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Cher Did Not Defend Ellen

When the revelations about Ellen came to light, Cher did not come to Ellen’s defense. She kept quiet and let the chips fall where they may. Though she had been one of the show’s regular guests, she expressed no opinion about the upheaval DeGeneres was experiencing.

Based on Cher’s reaction—or non-reaction—it is clear that the two are not friends, never mind besties. The reason for their non-relationship is evident once you know the facts, but Ellen still seems oblivious. 

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What Happened to Cher on The Ellen Show?

Cher was seen on The Ellen Show in 2018. Back then, the singer was promoting the film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. She was also there to promote the movie’s accompanying album filled with ABBA tracks, including “Dancing Queen.”

The interview may have seemed like a run-of-the-mill interview. But upon closer inspection, viewers might have noticed that Cher initially gave Ellen one-word answers. It took a couple more questions before Cher volunteered any more information.

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The Vibe Was Off

Early on, their dynamic in the 2018 interview was frosty. Cher tried to play it cool. She was there to do a job and didn’t want to mess it up. After all, Cher was contractually obligated to make promotional efforts. 

Part of her responsibility was to participate in a skit. Being a dutiful soldier, she followed her orders to the letter. She was seen in a pre-recorded segment greeting surprised customers in a hair salon. 

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Ellen and Cher in a Hair Salon

In a pre-recorded skit for the show, Ellen and Cher entered a hair salon that had real stylists doing the hair of real customers. The two customers looked very surprised at the appearance of the two celebrities, shrieking in delight.

Ellen made the two stylists leave and decided that she and Cher would do the customers’ hair. Cher immediately blurted out, “This is a nightmare.” We wonder if Cher was referring to the customers or to her own feelings.

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Cher Tells Ellen to Stop

Ellen did what comedians naturally do when left to their own devices—cause trouble. While Cher was busy figuring out whether to blow dry the customer’s hair or straighten it, Ellen decided to spritz Cher’s customer’s hair with water. 

Cher did her best to keep calm. Ellen later showed the customers pictures of different hairstyles. However, the images were of Cher and her outrageous looks from the previous years. Ellen asked the customers which look they wanted to have.

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Ellen Wreaks Havoc

Ellen continued to spray the other customers’ hair with water while Cher struggled to blow dry it. Despite Cher’s protests and audible “no’s” to Ellen, the comedian kept spritzing. Cher somehow managed to keep her cool.

Despite the trouble Ellen was causing, Cher did her best to participate in the skit. But unfortunately, all she could do was place her hand on her face. She probably regretted saying “Yes” to her appearance on the show. Ellen, however, was having the time of her life.

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Cher Has Had Enough

Cher pointed her blow dryer directly in Ellen’s face. Though smiling, Ellen backed off. But then she decided to up the ante and continued to spray water—this time onto Cher’s face. The two were locked in a hair salon battle.

Fortunately, the battle was brief, and the two celebrities returned to take care of the customers’ hair. Cher, ever the considerate soul, asked Ellen if the show had insurance, in case they accidentally burned or ripped out the customers’ hair. But Ellen didn’t even seem to care at all.

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Awkwardness Galore

Since they were in a hair salon, Ellen decided to engage in some girl talk. But things got a bit awkward when Ellen asked if anyone had slept with a girl. Everyone answered “no.” Ellen saved the skit by saying, “It’s just me?”

Cher, sensing that Ellen had been left in the cold, offered that she flirted with a woman, asking, “does that count?”. However, Ellen pretended not to have heard. Her flat refusal to answer left Cher’s question hanging in the air.

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Cher Does Not Trust Ellen

Ellen, in a flash of inspiration, had an idea—she wanted to do something to the customer’s hair. She asked Cher to hold a piece of it up, but Cher was reluctant. The singer went towards Ellen and directly expressed that she didn’t trust her. 

Cher was right not to trust her. When the singer held the customer’s hair, Ellen sat on a chair and had asked Cher to hold the hair because she wanted to take a break. Being a good sport, Cher tried to laugh it off.

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Things Get Personal

As the skit continued, Cher got personal and began to reminisce. She talked about the first time she met Ellen. When the host prodded, Cher replied that she’d known the comedian since her sitcom Ellen ran from 1994 to 1998.

But Ellen was not having any of it. She had to crack a joke—they were in a skit, after all. So Ellen gave Cher a fork to comb the customer’s hair with. Cher snapped and exclaimed that she wouldn’t do it. She also called Ellen an “idiot.”

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The Fight Continues

As Cher’s search for a comb continued, Ellen once again grabbed the spritzer and sprayed water on the newly blow-dried hair of the other customer. Cher didn’t let that one go. She picked up her own spritzer and pointed it at Ellen.

But Ellen countered by pointing a high-powered blow dryer at Cher’s face. Cher retaliated by screaming and spraying water on Ellen. Eventually, the two stopped. Fortunately, the two celebrities were still smiling after their duel.

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Ellen Is Right About Cher’s Hairstyling Skills

Cher eventually capitulated and used the fork Ellen recommended to part the customer’s hair. The end result? A grown-up woman looking like a six-year-old with pigtails. Meanwhile, Ellen’s customer was also not faring well.

Ellen delivered the first blow by calling Cher’s work “the worst.” The host added that Cher “went into the right business” because she obviously was not a good hairstylist. Cher clapped back by spritzing Ellen with water while Ellen blow-dried Cher’s face.

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Ellen and Cher Play With Wigs

Ellen and Cher eventually called it a truce. They continued working on their customers’ hair. Ellen put a blonde wig on her customer and decided to also put one on herself. Cher also put a wig on her own customer, styling it the way she knew how.

Ellen gave in and admitted that Cher did a good job. She eventually sat as Cher’s customer while the singer placed another wig on her. Ellen joked that she had a “tiny head.” Cher asked Ellen, “What goes inside that tiny head?”

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Ellen Impersonates Cher

Ellen decided to have the last laugh by impersonating Cher. While wearing the wig that Cher put on her, Ellen sang “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Cher initially laughed at the host’s efforts. After all, Ellen seemed to know the lyrics by heart.

However, Cher could not help but give her two cents. She declared Ellen’s rendition of her 1989 hit to be “probably the worst” she’d ever heard.  Ellen didn’t care though as she continued to give “the worst” impression of Cher’s song.

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Ellen Finds the Lyrics of Cher’s Song Illogical

Ellen’s rendition made Ellen realize that the song’s lyrics did not make sense. She prefaced her judgment by asking Cher if she wrote the song’s lyrics, to which Cher said no. After hearing this, Ellen began her critique.

Ellen sang, “If I could reach the stars, I’d give ’em all to you,” but wondered how that is possible because stars would be too hot to touch, so it would be impossible to give them to anyone. Ellen added that the lyrics “don’t really make sense.”

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A Customer Takes Ellen’s Side

A customer agreed with Ellen that Cher’s lyrics were illogical. Cher was surprised that the customer took Ellen’s side. The singer couldn’t help but confront the customer. She asked, “What do you mean? You hardly know her.”

The customer pointed out that she does know Ellen, though not personally. She explained that she knew Ellen from television, much to Ellen’s delight. Ellen rubbed salt on Cher’s wounds by remarking, “They know me better than they know you.”

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Cher: “We Are Not Best Friends”

It seemed Ellen had maxed out all of Cher’s patience. Fortunately, Cher was able to keep her composure. Cher had no choice but to look at Ellen and laugh. However, the Goddess of Pop also made sure to give Ellen a piece of her mind.

Cher, in a cold fury, told Ellen, “You’re such a b****.” Ellen laughed off her remark. Upon leaving the hair salon, Ellen claimed that the experience had made them closer, enough to make them “best friends.” Cher countered by saying, “No, we’re not.”

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Other Times Ellen Got On Cher’s Nerves

That wasn’t the last time Ellen got on her guests’ nerves. Whether it’s for entertainment purposes or just a part of her infamous “mean streak,” Ellen has a track record for getting on people’s nerves. Ellen successfully annoyed Cher again in 2018.

One segment in the show is a game called “5 Second Rule”. Contestants are required to give three answers to a question within the given time frame. Cher and Ellen battled it out. The end result was entertaining.

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Cher Keeps It Real

Ellen was the first to answer. She was asked to name three things seen in a coffee shop. She failed to answer all three within five seconds. Cher must have wondered if Ellen was just trying to make her look good.

When it was Cher’s turn, she was asked to name three singers she wanted to have a duet with. After a brief pause, Cher named the three celebrities: Adele, Pink, and anyone except Madonna.

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Ellen Reminds Cher of the Game’s Rules

Though Cher’s answer elicited laughter from the audience, as well as from Ellen, the comedian had to remind Cher to follow the rules of the game. She also called Cher “Ms. Negative.” Cher asked why she had been accused of cheating.

Ellen reminded Cher that she was required to say the names of people she wanted to sing with, not the names of people she did not want to perform with. Cher explained that she took “a little license” with her answer.

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The Game Continues

Many more questions came their way, but both celebrities had trouble answering within the five-second time limit. Ellen tried to help Cher by telling her to just ‘make up’ some answers. But Cher still failed.

When Ellen was asked to name three things that turned her on, Ellen answered, “Music, sweetness, and chocolate.” However, Ellen admitted that she just added chocolate because she couldn’t think of anything else.

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Cher Likes Chocolate

Ellen had to ask if chocolate actually turns anyone on. Cher raised her hand to say that she loves chocolate, even if she doesn’t get much of it. Ellen probed Cher, asking whether or not she got turned on by eating it.

Cher responded with “no” but admitted that she only likes it because she does not eat much of it, adding that she loves eating chocolate and cake. Ellen had to once again ask if chocolate put Cher in the mood. Cher emphatically answered, “No.”

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Cher Calls Ellen’s Bluff

Cher wanted to clarify her answer, but Ellen seemed determined to stick with the idea that chocolate is a mood enhancer—perhaps only because Cher admitted to liking it. But Cher was adamant in saying that it isn’t.

Despite continually saying, “No. No,” Cher explained why she refuses to eat chocolate. According to the Pop Goddess, she is working on keeping her body healthy. However, by the end, she admitted that she was lying and that she does, in fact, eat chocolate.

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Cher Explains Herself

After admitting that she lied and that she did eat chocolate, Cher continued to receive a barrage of questions from Ellen, who seemed to want Cher to admit that chocolate turns her on. The host asked once again if chocolate was an aphrodisiac for the legendary singer.

Cher initially struggled to follow her question but once again said, “No.” Ellen insisted that she had already admitted that chocolate turns her on.  Cher had to backtrack, saying that “I didn’t mean it in that way.” This argument continues as Cher is clearly exhausted by the antics.

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Cher Calls Ellen the “B” Word

Cher made it clear that chocolate does not turn her on. But Ellen could not get over the fact that Cher raised her hand when asked if chocolate turned anyone on. The comedian insisted, “You just said it did!”

Cher, seemingly frustrated at Ellen’s insistence, had to pause. Since the singer’s protests were met with mockery, Cher had to step back and compose herself. She looked at Ellen straight in the eye and blurted out, “b****”. Fortunately, the audience, and even Ellen, laughed.

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Do They Like Each Other?

The episode garnered more than two million views when it was posted on YouTube. However, their exchange was controversial enough that people could not help but weigh in.  Many asked if the two did actually like each other.

Another YouTube commenter said they were confused at the “passive-aggressive” vibe the celebrities displayed during their game. Some found it weird and uncomfortable to watch. Yet other commenters described their dynamic as “hilarious” and “fun.” 

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What Do You Think?

It is fair to say that Ellen rubs Cher the wrong way every time she goes on the show. It is also fair to admit that Ellen rubs most of her guests the wrong way. But is it true to say that the two celebrities dislike each other?

Ellen has been known to tease her guests, at times, too much. Some of her teasing is intentional and is done in order to provoke an entertaining reaction. Fortunately for Cher, her response was genuine and even endearing. 

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Ellen Made Gwen Stefani Cry?

Ellen’s attitude has been a problem for some celebrities over the years. Though Cher was able to hold her own against the comedian’s teasing, not everyone can be as straightforward as Cher can be. Some celebrities can’t help but let their emotions get the better of them. 

One of these stars is singer Gwen Stefani. When she was on The Ellen Show in 2018, she was expecting a light-hearted experience. But Stefani was in tears due to the words Ellen spoke. Fortunately, as she was a celebrity, hers were tears of joy and validation. Ellen without a doubt has two distinct sides to her.

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