Ellen DeGeneres is currently facing a lot of criticism online after she pranked Kim Kardashian that left her so upset she walked off set altogether.
Kim, who has had a serious fear of spiders for years, made an appearance on Ellen’s show this week, where she first sat alongside the host as they discussed the concept of being scared of different things.
Soon, Kim began to look around suspiciously, clearly suspicious of Ellen’s notorious habit of scaring her guests.
“I’m not going to scare you,” Ellen told him. “But I want to help you overcome something, because you’re scared…”
Even before Ellen finishes her sentence, Kim intervenes: “No! No no no.”
“You’re afraid of spiders,” Ellen continues. Kim says, “No, we’re not. We absolutely are not. You don’t do this to me. I will never get over it.”
“It’s not cowardly. It’s not a cowardly spider,” Ellen says as she unveils a terrarium, which appears to have a huge spider inside, to gasps from the audience.
Kim, now leaping from her seat, shouts, “No! No, we’ve been there before. I don’t care – I don’t care about overcoming my fear. I do not care.”
Ellen, clearly oblivious to the fact that Kim looks visibly terrified and has backed off, continues relentlessly, “What if I hold him?”
“Absolutely not,” Kim replies firmly. “What if I just held it?!” Ellen asks again, to which Kim clearly repeats, “No, no, no.”
Ellen says, “What if I just…” before throwing the apparent spider at Kim, who – unsurprisingly – screams and runs away from the host. “STOP,” she shouts. “Stop.”
As viewers in the audience laugh and cheer, clearly amused by Kim’s terror, Ellen laughs as she reveals, “It’s not real!”
Taking a moment to compose herself, Kim finally leaves the stage. “Goodbye everyone!” she said, waving to the seated viewers.
As you may know, Kim’s fear of spiders goes back years and years and has in fact been documented numerous times throughout keeping up with the Kardashians14 years of racing.
Back in the very first season, in fact, Kim memorably freaked out during a family vacation in Mexico after her mother, Kris Jenner, told her, “Kim, there’s a spider on you.”
The beauty mogul ran away screaming in fear before bursting into tears, much to the shock of everyone around her, including her siblings and a band of mariachis.
More than a decade later, in Season 19, Kim found herself in a tough spot when her daughter North developed a love for spiders and really wanted a pet tarantula.
“North has brought up several times now that she wants a pet spider,” Kim said in a confessional. “That will absolutely never happen.”
In the episode, Kim’s sister Khloé urges her to overcome her fear by acquiring a caged tarantula, which Kim miraculously manages to hold at arm’s length. Her attempt to face her fear just for her daughter’s happiness was ultimately welcomed by viewers.
With all that in mind, Ellen’s latest prank on Kim raised several eyebrows from viewers, many of whom called out the host for apparently taking advantage of her scare.
“Wow. Way to respect her boundaries. Respect to Kim for leaving,” one Instagram user wrote. “That’s so mean. Not funny at all,” another commented.
“Ellen, you don’t know how scary this is [is] for someone with a phobia,” one person pointed out. Another echoed: ‘It’s not cool to provoke someone when you know they have a real phobia. Ellen once again has no respect for boundaries. No means no. Why make people uncomfortable?
Someone added: ‘That’s rude. I would have left too. She said stop and no how many times! Ellen knew his fear in advance and didn’t respect that or his attempt to stop him. NOT COOL.”
“Come on Kim! I would have done the exact same thing. Respect people’s boundaries,” another commented.
Meanwhile, several fans on Instagram chimed in to express their frustration at Ellen’s apparent lack of respect for people’s boundaries.
“Why does Ellen feel like she can do this to someone?” we wondered. “That’s just rude,” wrote another.
Also, this isn’t the first time Ellen has pulled a spider-related prank on Kim. “Don’t ever scare me with a spider,” the mogul told the host during a 2018 appearance on the show, to which Ellen replied, “That’s exactly what we’re going to do!”
During this episode, Kim told Ellen, “I’m deathly afraid of spiders. Don’t test me now. Unfazed, Ellen pretended she was holding a spider in her hands and approached Kim in an attempt to scare her away.
“Stop, stop, stop, STOP,” Kim shouted as she ran away from her seat. “My dress is falling.”
“It’s tiny,” Ellen said of the apparent spider in her hands. Completely terrified, Kim backed into the audience to flee, but Ellen continued to pursue her.
“Stop, my dress is falling!” Kim exclaimed once more as several audience members also jumped up in fear.
Turns out Ellen was only pretending to hold a spider to scare Kim. Several viewers were quick to express their displeasure with the clip, suggesting that Ellen should have at least stopped when Kim announced that her dress was slipping.
“I felt bad for Kim. Ellen should have [stopped] when her dress fell. And she [shouldn’t have] made fun of his phobia,” one person wrote.