10 Years Later: No One Would Care About Ellen’s Oscar Selfie Today

ellen oscars selfie

The 10-year anniversary of Ellen DeGeneres’ internet-breaking Oscars selfie reveals just how much photo culture has changed.

On March 2, 2014, Ellen gathered a group of super-famous celebrities to pose for an “impromptu” selfie while she was hosting the 86th Academy Awards.

The iconic selfie, taken by Bradley Cooper, showed the then-ubiquitous TV host posing with Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Julia Roberts, Channing Tatum, and Kevin Spacey.

The star-studded selfie went immediately viral after Ellen shared it to Twitter (now known as X) alongside the caption: “Best photo ever.”

By the end of the Academy Awards ceremony, the photograph had amassed over two million retweets and caused the social media site to briefly collapse.

Within 24 hours, Ellen’s selfie had become the most re-tweeted image ever. And for months afterward, the photo would be endlessly parodied — becoming an online meme.

However, while Ellen’s Oscars selfie was groundbreaking 10 years ago, going viral like never before. Today, the photo would hardly make a dent in online culture.

An Oscars Selfie That Was a Marketing Stunt

At the time, the public was immediately convinced that Ellen’s group selfie was a spontaneous and impromptu one. However, it later emerged that it was an orchestrated marketing stunt by Samsung to advertise its smartphone camera.

The smartphone company insisted it was every bit as astonished as everyone else when Ellen took the selfie at the Oscars ceremony.

However, it was widely reported that Samsung had actually paid $20 million to sponsor the Academy Awards that year — much to the internet’s surprise.

In 2024, a visually literate public would be far more wise to the fact that Ellen’s selfie was a pre-planned photograph and a marketing ploy.

And as Business Insider points out, a decade later, DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie has also aged badly.

Today, several of the stars in the photo are no longer culturally relevant or have been spectacularly canceled — including Ellen herself.

However, more importantly, the gathering of so many Hollywood A-listers in a single selfie seemed unprecedented in 2014. But today, with the ubiquity of celebrities on social media, Ellen’s star-studded selfie seems completely underwhelming.

A Photo That Taught People What a ‘Selfie’ Was

Furthermore, ten years ago, Ellen’s image highlighted a selfie phenomenon that had only just started taking off and becoming popular. But today, selfies are ubiquitous.

In 2014, a study by Pew Research Center found that while 55% of Millennials had posted a “selfie” on a social media site; no other generation was nearly as inclined to do this at the time.

In 2014, only 26% of Americans had ever shared a “selfie” on a photo-sharing or social networking site at the time.

However, the Pew Research Center’s survey found that after Ellen’s Oscar selfie, about six out of 10 Baby Boomers and about a third of the Silent Generation (people who were born between 1925 and 1945) had only just learned what a “selfie” is.

In 2014, Ellen’s Oscar selfie spurned how-to guides showing beginners exactly how to take a selfie on a camera and a smartphone.

But, in 2024, selfies are second nature with a whopping 92 million of them taken every single day. A Hollywood selfie just wouldn’t have the same effect now.