Ellen DeGeneres has told tons of jokes during her time as a comedian and talk show host, but it’s unlikely that she’s gotten into any real trouble for telling a joke. Well, that has certainly changed now, since she’s being sued by a Georgia woman for a segment that aired on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
According to a report from KSHB 41, a station in Kansas City, Ellen DeGeneres is being sued by Titi Pierce, an electronics engineer and real estate agent in Warner Robins, Georgia. Pierce is suing for a pretty wide variety of offenses, which are listed as intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, misappropriation of likeness and false light invasion of privacy.
On the February 22 episode of Ellen DeGeneres’ show, the host aired an installment of her “What’s Wrong with These Signs” segment where a sign for one of Titi Pierce’s real estate listings was being advertised. DeGeneres pronounced the woman’s name as “titty”, and proceeded to make a joke that referred to an earlier sign in the segment, which was the “Nipple Convalescent Home.” I suppose the combination of Pierce’s first name and something with the word “nipple” in the name was just too much for DeGeneres to handle without making a comment, and, really, that would be the case for most of us.
The lawsuit makes it clear that Pierce has never, apparently, actually been called “titty” before. She is also stating that the show neglected to remove her cell phone number from the sign before airing the segment, which led to “hundreds” of calls from viewers of Ellen, and those calls happened to come while Pierce was at a funeral.
Well. That does sound like a lot of trouble for Titi Pierce. And, I have to say, considering the nature of the segment on Ellen DeGeneres’ show, I actually find it kind of hard to believe that no one else has been annoyed enough by having a sign for their business featured on the show that they would try suing over it. The whole point of the segment is to make fun of odd signage, and that can frequently end up at least sounding like the actual business is the butt of the joke. Which is exactly the kind of thing that’s bound to piss off a hard working entrepreneur. You can take a look at the full segment below.
Yeah, I can see how that would sting, and maybe even hurt business. Let’s just hope that Ellen DeGeneres and Titi Pierce can come to an agreement on this before too long. It would suck if we couldn’t see anymore segments of “What’s Wrong with These Signs” because of a lawsuit.