If there weren’t enough reasons to currently hate Ellen DeGeneres, consider the fact that she made Mariah Carey announce her pregnancy on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2008 even though Carey was not ready to tell the public.
In a new profile for New York magazine, Allison P. Davis interviews Carey ahead of her new rarities album and forthcoming memoir, which is less a laundry list of coveted industry dirt and more a reexamination from Carey of a career that essentially predicted modern pop music. There were a lot of bullets Carey had to dodge in the public eye, including an invasive Ellen segment in which the comedian tried to prove Carey’s pregnancy by getting her to drink Champagne. Carey says:
“I was extremely uncomfortable with that moment is all I can say. And I really have had a hard time grappling with the aftermath... I wasn’t ready to tell anyone because I had had a miscarriage. I don’t want to throw anyone that’s already being thrown under any proverbial bus, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.”
She also talks about how, during the promotion of The Emancipation of Mimi, Carey wanted to do a cover with Essence. The magazine did not want to put her on the cover because as her memoir co-writer and former Essence editor Michaela angela Davis says, “they literally said, ‘Mariah Carey has never said she was Black,’” a misconception that was overshadowed in the press by critics who deemed Carey white even though she said she was Black. Carey says:
“Believe you me, I’m not thrilled to be this skin tone all the time... How was I supposed to fit in? I was, like, the only one that’s this weird mutant, mutt — using an antiquated phrase that I’m not asking anyone else to ever use again, but I’m embracing it — mulatto girl. I’m not even embracing it. It’s a horrible way of defining somebody. It actually means ‘mule.’”
And she also illuminates why she jokes about how she’s really a butterfly, glitter-obsessed 12-year-old. It’s less about her swerving around the age question (which she’s still coy about) and more a reflection of what she went through as a kid growing up poor and in a majority white neighborhood:
“I always say, ‘I’m only 12, yay!’ But when you see how many times I talk about ‘I was 12, and this happened,’ it’s clear I went through a lot of stuff as a kid.”
There’s a lot for Lambs to chew on in the full profile, like the fact that Carey calls hors ’doeuvres “horse devoirs.” Read it here.