Former ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ Employees Open Up About ‘Toxic’ Work Environment
One current and 10 former employees contributed to the article, choosing to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the show and entertainment industry.
Although the majority of employees said the toxic environment was created by executive producers and other high-level staff members, one former employee stated DeGeneres should still take responsibility.
“If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” they said.
A Black employee stated that she had experienced “microaggressions” and racist statements, including one of the show’s main writers telling her he “only [knew] the names of the white people who work here.”
She was also called the “PC Police” after objecting to the show’s use of the phrase “spirit animal,” and later reprimanded for voicing her concerns.
“I’ve been too afraid to say anything because everyone knows what happens when you say something as a Black person. You’re blacklisted,” she told Buzzfeed News.
Another former employee stated that the show’s producers were responsible for creating a hostile work environment.
“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.”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner released a statement to Buzzfeed News, saying they take the claims “very seriously.”
The producers said that they were “truly heartbroken” to learn about the experiences of some of the employees, and that it is not in line with the mission DeGeneres set for her team.
The statement concluded with a pledge to “do better.”
It is not the first time people have spoken out against the popular television host.
In March of this year, comedian Kevin T. Porter began a Twitter thread, asking for stories about negative experiences with DeGeneres. He offered to match each story with a $2 donation to a food bank.
The tweet has over 2,600 replies.
Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! ???
She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive
Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 20, 2020
The Ellen DeGeneres Show also came under scrutiny for poor communication with staff during the coronavirus pandemic, reported Variety.
Sources told the publication that a month after the show halted filming, the core 30 employees had not received any communication about pay or working hours, or inquiries into their mental and physical health.
The Inquisitr reported DeGeneres faced backlash for making a joke about quarantine, comparing it to being in jail.