As has been recently reported, there were rumors that The Ellen DeGeneres Show is getting canceled. This comes as news of her ratings dropping have circulated, along with stories about Ellen behaving in a way that is contrary to her kind on-camera persona.
Now ex-employees are coming forward to complain about the show’s toxic workplace. Buzzfeed News spoke to ten ex-employees and one who still works there, and they all had similar stories. They add that everyone asked to remain anonymous, fearing retribution from both the talk show and the rest of the entertainment industry.
Employees reveal that they were fired for many different reasons, including after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend funerals. One employee dealt with comments regarding her race, and another says they were told not to speak directly to Ellen if they saw her around the office.
In one instance, a Black employee says she dealt with racist comments while working for Ellen. “She said when she was hired, a senior-level producer told her and another Black employee, ‘Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused.” Buzzfeed adds, “At a work party, she said, one of the main writers told her, ‘I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here,’ and other coworkers ‘awkwardly laughed it off’ instead of coming to her defense.”
Another ex-employee said they took medical leave to check into a mental health facility for a suicide attempt, and when they returned, their position was eliminated. The person said, “You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives.”
“That ‘be kind’ bulls— only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one person told the outlet. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Buzzfeed states that, for the most part, former employees blamed executive producers and senior managers for the day-to-day toxicity. But one employee points out that because Ellen’s name is on the show, she needs to take more responsibility for the environment.
Since allegations have come out, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner have released a joint statement. They write, “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. 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.”
“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.”
Read more allegations about The Ellen DeGeneres Show here.