Ellen DeGeneres’s show is hit by accusations claiming they face bullying and racism behind the scenes.
A current employee and ten former employees of Ellen’s talk show have come forward claiming they faced bullying and racism. They also claim that they were fired for attending family funerals.
The show has been building around the slogan of being kind. It is reported that it ranges from dishing out cash to people who appear on the show and instituting wider charity initiatives. However, former staff members claim it is all for the show.
One of the former staff members said that ‘be kind’ agenda is all for the show. It does not happen off-camera. The member said they give away money but it is all for the show.
A black woman claimed she was a victim of racist micro-aggressions and abuse for an 18-month-period. She recalled soon after she was hired, the senior producer said he hopes they don’t get confused because two employees have box braids.
She also claimed that one of the writers of the show apologized because they only know the names of the white people who work there. However, the employees did not blame Ellen but only the executive producers. They do think that Ellen should have been more involved to see what was happening on her show.
‘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,’ one ex-employee said.
They also said that Ellen is told by the producers that things are going great and she believes it. Ellen should be checking on her own staff according to them.
‘We Will do Better’- Producers
The show’s executive producers stated to Buzzfeed after the allegations. They said for nearly two decades, they have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment. The statement involved Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner.
They continued saying that they are heartbroken to learn that even one person has had a negative experience. The producers claim it is not who they are and not who they strive to be and it is also not the mission Ellen set them for.
‘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 doing better, and we will do better,’ the statement added.
The same African-American employee urged the producers to not use terms like ‘spirit animal’ because of which she was referred to as ‘PC police’ among colleagues. She took the issue to her white boss who would say he understood her struggle. He would say this based on the fact that he had a black friend. ‘But it was all performative bulls**t’, she added.
The woman further claimed that she asked for a raise when she found out a new hire is getting more than her. She also asked senior producers to roll out diversity training. But eventually, she walked out of the show and never came back.
She further explained her anger for how she was treated. The woman said she will always stand up for Black, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian people, regardless if they’re around. ‘I can’t not say anything. I’m not going to stop talking,’ she told Buzzfeed.
Ellen’s Behavior Off-Camera is Way Different
Another former employee added that he thinks it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to their brand. He said, ‘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.’
Yet another former employee returned after being checked into a mental health facility. Followed by a suicide attempt to find that her position was terminated. She said one would think if someone tried to kill themselves, you would not add more stress to their lives.
The employees claimed that they advocate mental health but they are the reason why there is a stigma. Another employee came forward and said they had a tough year because of which they had to fight for time off. But they were finally fired after a family funeral.
A current employee anonymously revealed that they held a meeting with the show’s producers to discuss the current allegations. The producers had refuted rumors about the show being canceled amid multiple reports of harsh off-camera behavior.
There were also rumors around Ellen’s behavior off-camera and she was slammed on social media for the same. An assembly of around 30 crew members was bothered after she hired an external company called Key Code Media to film the shows. She also rankled at what they called a loss of communication or transparency about their jobs following the March closedown. Variety published in April.
Insiders revealed that higher-up production would occasionally answer calls but reveal little information. Their pay was cut by 40 percent amid changes brought about by the virus.
Producers responded that ‘Our executive producers and Telepictures are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind’. Sources told the outlet that this was not the case with all the programs. As crews for John Oliver, Desus and Mero, and Samantha Bee were given their full rates. Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel drew into his pocket for a time to keep his staff getting their annual rates.
Ellen has already received a lot of backlash for her alleged bad behavior. This included her tone-deafness after joking that locking down in her opulent mansion was ‘like being in jail.’
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