False Light

MORE Right of Publicity News - Ellen DeGeneres

Based on the subject line, I'm guessing that a reader would think that Ellen has had her likeness misappropriated and is suing for damage(s).  Rather, the tables are turned and the celebrity talk show host and comedienne is in the hot-seat. Several news sources reporting that a Georgia real estate agent (Titi Pierce) has filed suit against Ellen DeGeneres (and probably all the entities related to the show, as well as other individuals involved with production, etc.), alleging defamation, false light invasion of privacy, misappropriation of likeness and intentional infliction of emotional distress for mispronouncing the agent's name ("titty" instead of "tee-tee") and publicizing the agent's telephone number in connection with the telecast.

The episode originally aired on February 22.  Had that been the lone instance (or had the producers engaged in some sensible editing), then it is unlikely this would have progressed to this stage.  However, the show re-aired on April 15 with no changes.  A clip of the segment posted to Facebook was edited to blur the agent's phone number.

That's not to suggest that I necessarily agree that the agent has a cognizable harm with recoverable damages; without more it is difficult to make such a determination.  Some of that will be determined by how much harm can result from mispronouncing a name to invoke one of the anatomical parts of our bodies that distinguishes the genders/sexes.  IF the agent has proof of the resulting phone calls (allegedly numbering in the 100s) and there are messages that are arguably harassing then a judge/jury is going to have a difficult time allowing Ellen et al. off the hook for liability; measuring the monetary value of such harassment may prove more difficult, esp. for essentially a non-public figure.