Television personality Ellen DeGeneres has been forced to contend with yet another former friendship coming back to haunt her.
Artist and activist Rafael Shimunov - a vocal critic of DeGeneres - has drawn attention to a potentially awkward moment from Ellen’s past, as he shared a 2006 article by People Magazine.
The article features President Donald Trump, who wasn’t in politics at the time, and first lady Melania introducing their son Barron to the world.
In the article, it is claimed that DeGeneres gave them a gold stroller (complete with its own chandelier) for their newborn son.
“In the Trumps’ $100 million triplex penthouse, gifts from friends – including a golden stroller complete with its own chandelier (courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres) and gazillions of onesies – greeted Barron’s arrival. 'It’s fun,' says Melania of the stroller. 'It makes you laugh.'”
"Trumps’ $100 million triplex penthouse, gifts from friends – including a golden stroller complete with its own chandelier (courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres) and gazillions of onesies – greeted Barron’s arrival. “It’s fun,” says Melania of the stroller. “It makes you laugh.” - People pic.twitter.com/3zJrT59ov1— rafael (@rafaelshimunov) October 15, 2019
Twitter users also weighed in, with many considering such an outlandish gift as "grotesque".
Grotesque— Dr S Chapler 🆘✊ (@DrRevo) October 15, 2019
Gross— Gina (@PonygirlGina) October 15, 2019
Sadly, many Americans think things like a golden stroller are a good thing. A sign of success, instead of selfish and evil.— John Joseph McLaughlin (@JJMcLaughlinGrp) October 15, 2019
Other netizens were sure the television host had bought the gift as a joke:
Ellen bought the stroller as a joke.— The Basic Mom (@Basic_Mom76) October 15, 2019
Or a way to mock them. Here is a gawdy silly looking stroller I expect you will never use.— RVLife2018 🌊🌈🌸 (@deedee19642) October 15, 2019
I got the stuff at the hobby lobby and my staff put it together. haha, funny, right!?
Now the television host will likely have to fend off more criticism of her being too “cosy” with wealthy people who express political stances outside the Hollywood mainstream.
Last week, photographs emerged of the talk show host seated together at a football game with former president George W. Bush, inciting anger among many, bearing in mind ex-president Bush’s role in the Iraq War and stance on LGBT rights.
Facing the backlash, Ellen was forced to take up the matter on her show, as she claimed she had friends with different political views and that “we’re all different”.
Yes, that was me at the Cowboys game with George W. Bush over the weekend. Here’s the whole story. pic.twitter.com/AYiwY5gTIS— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) October 8, 2019
Far from defusing the situation, this only fanned the flames further, as a video began circulating online with scenes from the Iraq War edited behind the speaking DeGeneres.
The comedian reportedly tried to get the video taken down on copyright grounds, but reappearing versions kept generating millions of views.