The popular host, who like many TV hosts has made her show virtual amid stay-at-home orders, said the comment while broadcasting to viewers from her home on Monday.
“One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what it is,” she said. “It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.”
The video, which as of Wednesday afternoon was listed as “unavailable” on YouTube, was deemed “tone deaf” by some viewers, who responded to the episode in the comments section of the platform.
“I feel bad for the kids at home, all the college students, all the parents,” DeGeneres went on to say. “I feel bad for a lot of people. But I think that a lot of people out there need words of encouragement, and that’s what I want to do.”
“Sitting inside her fifteen million dollar mansion complaining and comparing it to a prison, very tone deaf ellen,” one viewer commented on YouTube.
CNN has reached out to a representative for DeGeneres for comment.
DeGeneres hosted the “at-home edition” of the show with her wife Portia de Rossi serving as camera operator and director, and their dog, Augie, as key grip, she joked.
DeGeneres is not the only celebrity whose attempts at outreach during the coronavirus outbreak have backfired.