Oscars: Liza Minnelli Responds to Ellen DeGeneres' Drag-Queen Joke (Video)
Liza Minnelli says she has no hard feelings about being the butt of Ellen DeGeneres' "drag queen" joke at Sunday night's Oscars.
The legendary singer-actress was invited to the Academy Awards to witness a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, which stars her mother, the late Judy Garland.
"I have to say one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I've ever seen in my entire life," host DeGeneres said of Minnelli, who was sitting in the audience next to her sister, Lorna Luft. "Good job, sir."
DeGeneres has been criticized for what some view as an especially harsh joke compared with the rest of her monologue -- she's even been called "transphobic" -- while some have said it seemed atypical of DeGeneres' brand of more genial humor.
During the Oscar telecast, Minnelli herself appeared less than amused by the joke, but on Monday night she told TMZ that there are no hard feelings. (Watch the video, courtesy of TMZ, below.)
"I think she thought it would be funny … but she never stopped after she said it and said 'my friend Liza Minnelli,'" she said. "So I think it kind of went a little astray on her. I don't think she meant any harm at all. She's a wonderful lady, and I think she did great."
For her part, DeGeneres told viewers of her daytime talk show that she and Minnelli had spoken about the quip.
"I don't know if people didn't know she was there when I made the joke about the best impersonator, and, I mean, she's a totally cool lady," DeGeneres said Monday on her live show. "I mean, I went up to her later and she was funny and fine, but I think people thought I was offending her in some way. But she was totally cool."
Hilary Lewis in New York contributed to this report.