Fans of Ellen DeGeneres were thrown into a fit of panic on Monday after the hashtag "RIP Ellen" trended on Twitter. Sparked after one user falsely reported that the talk show host had died after falling off a roof and then quickly growing in size, the rumors, of course, were false, though it left many wondering what had started the hoax in the first place.
According to the New York Post, the hashtag trended in response to recent news that DeGeneres' talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was going to be canceled — something that producers later denied. The rumors were sparked on July 1 after The Sun published a report that the daytime talk show was skating on thin ice as ratings began to plummet. Citing numbers from TVNewsCheck, The Ellen DeGeneres Show fell 14 percent to a new Season 17 low rating of 1.2. The tumbling ratings were allegedly in part due to the recent controversy surrounding the talk show host.
In April, multiple sources told Variety that members of The Ellen DeGeneres Show staff were "distressed and outraged" by how their bosses were treating them during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the sources, employees received little to no communication about how they would be paid while DeGeneres worked from home, and some were unhappy that a non-union tech company was hired to help DeGeneres film her show without them. Employees were also reportedly told about a pay cut.
During that same month, YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, also known by her handle NikkieTutorials, said DeGeneres did not interact with her before the show and described it as "Teletubbies after dark." The in May, Tom Majercak, a former security guard who escorted DeGeneres, her wife Portia de Rossi, and her mother at the 2014 Oscars, described DeGeneres as "cold." Majercak told Fox News that "it was actually kind of demeaning in the way that she treats people other than those who are in her circle."
As rumors regarding the fate of her show and the controversy surrounding her continued, some Twitter users took the opportunity to start a new rumor: DeGeneres had died. Using the "RIP Ellen" hashtag, people flocked to Twitter to create different scenarios that had led to DeGeneres' death, some even sharing pictures of other celebrities as they paid tribute to DeGeneres. At this time, DeGeneres has not responded to the trending hashtag.