Ellen DeGeneres's talk show has been on air since 2003 and many former employees revealed that the senior executives were propagating a horrible work culture.
Most people who know Ellen DeGeneres know the A-list comedian and talk show host through The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The Finding Nemo star has been working in Hollywood since the 1990s, and back then, she has been trying to make her mark as a comedian. However, in 1997 she came out and revealed to the world that she was gay and that led her to lose a lot of work. In fact, she knows a lot about negative experiences in the workplace by living through that phase.
More recently, she is facing accusations from former and present staffers that her show has propagated a culture of mistreatment. Some celebrities also criticized the Finding Dory star for being mean in real life, very unlike her on-screen "kind" persona. DeGeneres often gives away thousands of dollars to people on her talk show and features talented children. She even ensures that they can meet their heroes, but the recent harassment complaints against her senior staff members have shocked people.
A piece published by BuzzFeed quoted multiple former employees and at least one current staffer at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which has been on air since 2003. They claimed that it had a toxic work environment driven by executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner. "That 'be kind' bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show," said one former employee. "I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show," they added.
Another former employee said, "People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that’s not the problem. The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean."
After the numerous testimonials, DeGeneres apologized but that didn't fly with many people since she shifted blame to employees instead of showing accountability. According to CNN, in a letter to her staff, after the allegations were made, she said, "On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness—no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show."
"I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or—worse—disregarded. To think that anyone of you felt that way is awful to me," she added, reports Vanity Fair.
She then informed the staffers that an internal investigation was launched by the show's distributor, Warner Bros.Television, which is owned by CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia.
"Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again," she said.
However, Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett responded to her statement and said on Twitter, "Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge."
I actually know people that have worked for the show and they said that the show has been toxic for years. This isn't new; she was just finally caught. Ppl were fooled by her on-air personality. Same with James Corden. He needs to be investigated next. He's horrible to his staff.— Rachel (@Racheldollton) July 31, 2020
DeGeneres hasn't responded to his claims. Meanwhile, her wife, Portia defended DeGeneres. On Instagram, she said, "To all our fans....we see you. Thank you for your support," adding the hashtags #stopbotattacks, #IStandWithEllenDeGeneres, #IStandByEllen, #IstandByEllenDeGeneres and #bekindtooneanother.
She was also called out by Dakota Johnson for her missing her birthday. DeGeneres had claimed that she wasn't invited to which Johnson clapped back and called out her lie.
Given the accusations she and her team are facing, the comedian's wrap-up line at the end of the show "Be Kind to one another" seems to ring louder than before for people on both sides of the discussion.