Why Ellen DeGeneres had to apologize for her fake Apple iPhone commercial (with video)

Ellen DeGeneres created and aired a fake commercial for Apple iPhone on Monday.

Yesterday, she aired it again while apologizing on-air:

Direct link to video clip via YouTube here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those calling for Apple to lighten up must not know about or have forgotten the lethal damage that a little comic strip once did to a very-promising Apple product. And, that one had truth on its side. Unfortunately, DeGeneres’ fake commercial simply strays too far from the truth.

Parody is supposed to take something real and exaggerate it, but DeGeneres’ attempt failed because it creates non-existent issues and then treats them as a parody would. DeGeneres’ misuse of parody creates the mistaken impression in the viewer’s mind that the issues depicted actually exist with iPhone, since the audience expects that what’s being exaggerated to be rooted in fact. That could be why she apologized so quickly (and/or she didn’t want to lose potential Apple ad dollars).

This isn’t Apple being humorless and overbearing to poor little Ellen. This is a case of parody being wrongly applied to issues that do not exist, then aired on national TV, potentially damaging the reputation of a product that did nothing to warrant such treatment except carry an Apple logo and be popular. DeGeneres made a mistake and she apologized for it.

Lastly, had Ellen instead parodied iPhone by trying and failing to zoom the camera or tether her MacBook with AT&T, there would be no issue with the parody and no reason for Apple to complain or for Ellen to apologize.

MacDailyNews Note: Help kill Adobe’s Flash:
• Join YouTube’s HTML5 beta here and maybe someday they’ll offer embeddable HTML5 video.


  1. Apple is following in the footsteps of Microsoft… “we” the consumers make them what they are and they turn and bite the hand that has feed them. Cupertino/Apple is turing into a NAZI state where nothing but the party line will be tolerated.

    I say FSCK YOU apple,, grow some fricken balls!

  2. @Comedian
    Speaking as one of the “we”, I made a couple of purchase decisions based on the best products; I had no intention of creating some diety. I couldn’t care less what Apple’s agenda is as long as they keep making superior consumer electronics.

    I’d go on about how nonsensical your comment is, but after reading it a fourth time (25 seconds of my life I won’t get back), I’ll simply dismiss you as another jerkoff troll. GFY dude.

  3. I still want to know just what Apple said to her that got her ‘in trouble’. Was it “we’re upset you have created a false impression of our product and would appreciate you clarifying your parody is a joke”, or “Ellen, you ignorant slut, cease and desist immediately!!1!” All we know is after Ellen showed the parody (for the second time) she said Apple did not think it was funny, and then went on to list Apple products she owns and loves. Gizmodo printed the letter they got from Apple, now it is Ellen’s turn.

  4. Well, you’ve done it Ellen. Probably was a surprise that the COA was so much like, well… a cult.

    Apple making fun of others – great humor, great satire, right on, etc.

    Others making fun of Apple – cretins. Deport ’em – now!

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