UPDATE: Given the avalanche of bad news about The Ellen DeGeneres Show, it was only a matter of time before some heads rolled, and the wait is over. In a staff meeting on Monday, it was announced that three of the show’s executive producers have been removed from their positions at the show. Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman were all named in last month’s Buzzfeed News report about the toxic environment at the show, and were reportedly suspended shortly after, as WarnerMedia began an internal investigation.
In Monday’s meeting, Ellen finally spoke directly to her staff about the recent turmoil at the show. A source told The New York Post that she was “emotional” in her remarks, and said that hearing the horror stories about conditions at the show “broke her heart.” While three senior producers are gone, Ellen obviously still remains at the helm of her show, and three executive producers that have been with the show since its 2003 launch are staying in their positions.
Original Article: This has been a sh*tty summer for pretty much all of us—at this point, I’m just resigned to being bored all the time, and have accepted that “vacation” is a concept that will have to wait for 2021. But for Ellen DeGeneres, this summer has been sh*tty for a very different set of reasons, and week after week, the bad press just keeps on coming. Months after a viral Twitter thread ignited long-simmering rumors of Ellen’s not-so-nice temperament, a dozen current and former employees came forward in a blistering report about the toxic culture at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Following those allegations, WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation into the show. Since then, various celebrities have come forward in support of Ellen, but the stories from her former employees continue to tell a different story.
Last week, a former camera assistant on Ellen’s show went on Australian radio show Stav, Abby & Matt, where she spoke anonymously about her experience of working on the show. She said she chose to leave Ellen after a little over a year, and that the work environment on the show is “kind of like The Devil Wears Prada,” where “everyone is trying to make it to the year.” She added that a year at Ellen is so tough that it’s “a badge of honor to make it through that and have it on your resume.”
When asked about the other staffers coming forward, she commented that “It’s important to read their stories and listen to their truth, and believe them.” She also brought up the “I stand by Ellen” movement promoted by celebrities on social media, saying that “it’s really disappointing that people aren’t believing these victims.”
With many of the recent accusations directed at the show’s producers and higher-ups, and not at DeGeneres herself, there has been debate over how much Ellen actually knows about what goes on behind the scenes of her show. The staffer agreed that DeGeneres “had no idea” what was happening on her own show, because “Ellen has no idea who most of the staff even are.” So like, she didn’t know about specific situations, but only because she didn’t give a sh*t about the crew as a whole, lol. She added that, in her year at the show, she never actually met DeGeneres, and was never even allowed in the same room as her. She claims that it’s an unwritten rule that “when Ellen enters a room, you and your entire crew need to leave… You see her and you have to run.”
The former employee shared that the dismissive attitude toward the crew goes far beyond Ellen herself, saying that the higher-ups cultivate a “culture of competition” at the show. “You’re constantly reminded that you’re so unimportant” and that “the show will succeed with or without you.” Yes, TV is a competitive industry, but there’s a big difference between a healthy level of competition, and your employer treating you like the gum on the bottom of their shoe.
The former staffer acknowledged that long hours and demanding situations are standard in the film and television industry, but that Ellen took things a step further, denying crew members “certain basic rights.” She said that it comes down to things like “asking to be paid for your overtime, or you’re asking for water on a hot day on a hot set, and you’re told things like ‘if you don’t like it here, there’s the door.'” The previous allegations included issues with overtime pay, but the water thing is news to me, and it’s seriously disturbing.
This new interview is just further confirmation that there are major issues at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the staffer’s specific comments about Ellen’s attitude toward her staff are not a good look. Somehow, there are still many people who are devoted to defending their beloved host, but at this point, why? She may not have known about some of the more serious issues at her show, but if your employees can’t even be in the same room as you out of fear, that’s a personal problem.
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