Ellen DeGeneres’ Ellen show has a reputation for being supported entirely by positive vibes, good-natured pranks, and goofy dancing, but a woman from Georgia discovered the dark, vicious underbelly of DeGeneres’ playful persona after the iconic comedian cruelly poked fun at the woman’s name in an episode back in February. The mocking came as part of Ellen’s What’s Wrong With These Signs segment, which involves viewers sending in photos of silly typos, unusual business names, and other funny things that have been sorely absent from TV since Jay Leno gave up The Tonight Show. In this particular episode, a fan sent in a photo of a real estate sign with the name Titi Pierce, which DeGeneres pronounced as “titty pierce”—as in, you know, piercing a titty.
However, the woman’s name is actually pronounced “tee tee,” and she has filed a lawsuit against DeGeneres for “defamation, false light invasion of privacy, misappropriation of likeness, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Pierce’s lawsuit also claims that “in her 35 years of life,” nobody has ever called her “Titty.” On top of that, Pierce alleges that the Ellen show failed to blur out her phone number on the sign when the episode initially aired, which caused her to get “hundreds” of phone calls “during the funeral of a family member.”
As a result of all of this heartless mocking from DeGeneres, Pierce has “suffered stress, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation, anger, and other mental pain and suffering.” At this point, it’s unclear if DeGeneres or anyone from her show has commented on this, but she did tweet this cryptic image earlier today:
This photo really gets my goat. pic.twitter.com/ZugXuBjjNM
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) June 7, 2016