Following recent negative stories about Ellen DeGeneres and the allegedly toxic work environment on her daytime talk show, her staff is reportedly thrilled that people are finally paying attention.
Fox News previously published an interview with a former bodyguard of the comedian who discussed his unsavory experience with the “cold” host. Soon after, Buzzfeed News released a lengthy expose in which former and current staff members alleged that producers have created a toxic work environment based on bullying and fear at “The Ellen Degeneres Show.”
A source connected with the production of the talk show spoke with Us Weekly to note how the attention has affected staff members now that their grievances with the host and producers are finally being heard.
“They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story,” the source revealed. “They’re loving that the truth — which has been an open secret for years in the industry — is finally receiving more interest.”
In an exclusive interview with Fox, Thomas Majercak, who protected DeGeneres at the 2014 Oscars ceremony, said he experienced “cold” and “demeaning” behavior while working with her.
“Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to — and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities — that has never taken the time to say hi to me,” Majercak claimed to Fox News at the time.
Meanwhile, one current and 10 former employees at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” spoke to Buzzfeed News about their experience, alleging that top producers on the show have created a nightmarish work environment.
“I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show’s brand,” a former employee told the outlet. “They pull on people’s heartstrings; they do know that’s going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that’s not always reality.”
Another employee said the “‘be kind’ bulls–t” occurs “only” when cameras are rolling.
A Black woman who used to work on the show also claimed to Buzzfeed that she was the victim of racist comments and said she was disciplined for speaking out about diversity and other microaggressions on the show. Another former employee claimed to have taken a month off to receive mental support after a suicide attempt only to return to the office to find out their position had been eliminated. Others shared similar stories of having to fight for days off for bereavement or medical leave.
Former employees argued that while DeGeneres has been taking the heat for a majority of the accusations surrounding her show, top producers are the ones who should be held accountable.
“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,” another former employee claimed. “They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there — ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.’”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner issued a statement to Buzzfeed News for its report noting it takes the issues brought up by staff very seriously.
“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment,” they said.
“We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us,” the show executives said.
“For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, brand expert Eric Schiffer told Fox News that DeGeneres, the face of the show, should ultimately be held accountable.
Back in April, Variety interviewed staff members on anonymity who claimed the show failed to communicate the status of their jobs and pay amid the coronavirus pandemic. Warner Bros. Television, the distributor of the show, claimed the crew was being paid at reduced hours.
A beauty influencer who appeared on the talk show in January then spoke up about her own experience, saying on record that DeGeneres was particularly “cold” and gave preferential treatment to A-list guests.