Back in August, we reported that local poet and promoter Renda Writer was giving up his post as editor of local arts mag WeMerge in order to focus even more of his energy toward getting the attention of Ellen DeGeneres so that she may invite him to read one of his poems on her show. Now, after years of "Look at me, Ellen!" activity, DeGeneres has finally acknowledged his existence... kinda.
In his latest effort to get the attention of the beloved comedian/host, Writer put on an art show in Los Angeles devoted to her. The event featured more than 60 portraits of DeGeneres and was called, appropriately, "The 2nd Annual Ellen Art Show." The first was held here in South Florida last year. After the event, Writer dropped a couple of the paintings off to the mail room of the Ellen DeGeneres Show and... They made it onto television!
The story doesn't end there, though. The manner in which she reacted to the paintings and the show itself has become a point of heated debate in the comments section of the YouTube video of the segment and elsewhere on the internet. "This is not the Ellen that I love," posted one viewer. "How could she do this?" asked another. While other commenters defend the spunky host: "Cry me a river people."
In the clip, DeGeneres' tone is sarcastic, borderline mocking. At one point, she quips confusedly: "There were 60 of these." She goes on to complain about how her crotch and feet were depicted in one of the paintings and questions whether her hand is being shown entering a fishy orifice.
Perhaps most ironically, after all of Writer's effort, she still failed to publicly acknowledge the man of great devotion while managing to discourage his activities: "I don't even know how we got these, but thank you for your paintings. Don't do it again."
Of course, Writer chimed in with a loud and clear answer to the mystery of how the art landed in the mail room in the comments section:
"It was me!!!! I produced, hosted, and curated 'The 2nd Annual Ellen Art Show,' and it was me that dropped these portraits, as well as 11 others, over at the mailroom for The Ellen Degeneres Show."
One fellow commenter feels his pain:
"Damn once again completely ignoring Renda Writer...:\"
When reached for comment today, Writer shrugged off all of the noise on the internet:
"I think a lot of people have too much time on their hands. She's not rude; she's a comedian," he said while "chilling at a Starbucks" in Orange County. "She is aware of me. She is aware of what I do. And that's the first step. Awareness and then acceptance. Next step will be me getting on the show."
And on the issue of her not mentioning his name and claiming that she didn't know where the paintings came from?
"She definitely knows they came from me. There is a little part of me that thinks that maybe she didn't mention my name because it is part of this plot to put me on the show."
Finally, Writer is showing no signs of slowing down, despite Ellen's plea to not do it again.
"What's next is definitely the 'Third Annual Ellen Art Show,'" he said. "And it's funny, because the very last thing she said in that clip was 'Don't do it again.' But, you know, I mention once again, she's a comedian."
Below is the video. What do you think? Is Ellen being less cool than usual here? Are her jokes all in good fun? Does she know that Renda Writer exists? If so, why won't she say his name or ask him to be on the show?
And how about Writer and his efforts? Is he on the verge of reading his poem on the Ellen DeGeneres Show? Or should this be a sign for him to give up?
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The saga continues...