Marking the first time people have taken an interest in The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, a copy of Ben Stiller’s latest comedy has found its way to the Internet, bearing a watermark that identifies it as belonging to Ellen DeGeneres. As first reported by Waxy, then verified by Variety, the “Ellen DeGeneres”-stamped rip of the film began showing up on file-sharing sites this week, with 20th Century Fox confirming that the watermark was indeed created for a Mitty screener provided to DeGeneres ahead of Stiller’s appearance on her show. Executive producers for the show say they aren’t certain how it then ended up online, though one answer would be that, unlike The A.V. Club, they don’t have a Kyle Ryan working there, freaking out at the merest suggestion of anyone ripping a screener to their computer, even if you’re just doing it to fuck with him.
As Waxy reminds, while a rare occurrence, it’s not unheard of for a famous person’s screener to make its way to the Internet: Howard Stern’s copy of Super 8 similarly popped up in 2011, prompting him to deny and denounce it on air for fear of not getting any more free movies. It remains to be seen whether anyone at The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be forced to take the blame—though to us, it seems more likely that this is finally ironclad proof that Ellen DeGeneres has spent the past several decades fostering a public image as TV’s friendliest personality, all as a front for her international piracy ring. Go right on dancing, Ellen. Dance around the truth.