An old clip of Ellen DeGeneres pressuring Taylor Swift into talking about her dating life resurfaced after a TikToker said Swift ‘deserves an apology’

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  • A clip of Ellen DeGeneres interviewing Taylor Swift about her dating life has gone viral on TikTok.
  • It shows DeGeneres quizzing Swift about men, while Swift says she doesn’t want to discuss it.
  • TikToker Nya Johnson shared the video, saying Swift “deserves an apology.”

A clip of Ellen DeGeneres quizzing Taylor Swift about her dating life has gone viral after a TikToker posted the video suggesting Swift deserved an apology.

In the segment, from a 2012 episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” DeGeneres tries to get Swift to talk about the men she has dated.

“You were here with your boyfriend Zac Efron last time. How’s he doing?” DeGeneres asked Swift, to which Swift responded that they’d “never dated,” while DeGeneres insists, “Yes you did. Why do you deny it?”

DeGeneres then shows pictures of men on a screen, hands Swift a bell, and asks her to ring it when she sees the person who inspired her song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Swift initially refuses, saying the secret behind the song’s meaning is the “one shred of dignity I have left” but DeGeneres continues on, as Swift says, “Do you know how bad this makes me feel?” and insists she doesn’t want to continue with the segment.

TikToker Nya Johnson shared the video, saying Swift “deserves an apology” for how she was treated on the show.

“Do u think Ellen thrives off of making guest uncomfortable?” Johnson wrote in the caption. The TikTok has received 4.8 million views and 1.2 million likes so far. It generated a discussion in the comments about how the situation could have been “humiliating” for Swift and the concept of pushing people’s boundaries for the sake of entertainment.

Johnson’s TikTok is part of a series in which she looks back on past interview clips in a new light. 

“I was rewatching a lot of Ellen’s old videos, and I realized that there were a lot of instances where her guests were visibly uncomfortable,” Johnson told Insider. “And when I watched this Taylor Swift interview in particular I wondered how on earth that it was viewed as an OK thing to do.”

She added she thought DeGeneres “interrogated” Swift while she was uncomfortable, and she wanted to see what other people thought. 

“When I watch this clip, I feel like we’ve definitely come a long way in terms of calling out things that are not right,” she said. “I think given the recent allegations about the ‘Ellen’ show, bringing exposure to these instances will hopefully have her reflect on how she could treat people better in future.”

In July 2020, BuzzFeed News published an investigation alleging a toxic work environment at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which former employees said was rife with “racism, fear, and intimidation.” The story stated there had been “rumors for years about DeGeneres being difficult.”

In September 2020, DeGeneres apologized in a home video, saying “things happened here that never should have happened.”

“I take this very seriously and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people it affected,” she said, adding that the “necessary changes” were being made.

“If I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am sorry for that,” she said.

On May 12, DeGeneres said she was ending her show after 19 years because “it’s just not a challenge anymore.”

Other stars Johnson has said deserve apologies include Lady Gaga, who was asked by an interviewer whether she was a “hermaphrodite,” and Britney Spears, who was repeatedly objectified and sexualized by talk-show hosts.

Insider has reached out to representatives for DeGeneres and Swift for comment.

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