WarnerMedia will be investigating “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” amid accusations of workplace abuse.
According to Variety, executives from Telepictures, which produces Ellen’s show, and distributor Warner Bros. Television sent a memo to staffers last week announcing WarnerMedia’s employee relations division and a third-party firm will be interviewing current and former staffers about their experience working for the show. As the Daily Wire reported earlier this month, Buzzfeed interviewed several former employees of the show who claimed they experienced a toxic work environment counter to Ellen’s image as a kind-hearted person.
“Some of the accusations included insensitive comments about race, being fired after returning from a month-long absence at a mental health facility, and receiving a warning after creating and publicizing a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medical costs that weren’t covered by the show’s health insurance,” the report said.
One black woman and former employee told Buzzfeed, “Whenever I brought up an issue to my white male boss, he would bring up some random story about some random Black friend that he had and how they managed to get over stuff. He would use his Black friend as some way to say, ‘I understand your struggle.’ But it was all performative bulls**t.”
Another former employee said that they had worked on the show for over a year before spending a month at a mental facility for a suicide attempt. When they returned, their position was removed. “You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives,” the person said. “Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s a stigma. They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner, and Mary Connelly addressed the allegations in a joint statement.
“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 group 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.”
Prior to the Buzzfeed article, Ellen’s reputation began taking considerable hits back in April when Variety reported that much of the crew for her daytime talk show was left in the dark without pay for weeks following the COVID-19 shutdown orders. Shortly thereafter, the media published article after article from staffers and former guests blasting Ellen DeGeneres for allegedly promoting a false brand of kindness.
Tom Majercak, who served as Ellen’s bodyguard at the 86th Academy Awards, alleged that she was the coldest celebrity he had ever worked for.
“I’m holding their hands and walking them through individuals and large groups of people. 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 told Fox News. “Ellen pretty much just gave me a side glance out of her eye and didn’t even say ‘hello,’ or ‘thank you for protecting my mother, my wife and me.’ It was very cold and it was very sly and it was actually kind of demeaning in the way that she treats people other than those who are in her circle.”
A former Ellen staffer also told the New York Post that all the stories about Ellen’s coldness are true.
“Is she always nice? No,” said the former staffer. “It irritates me that people think she’s all sweetness and light and she gets away with it.”
The accusations became so toxic that a source close to Ellen said she was at the end of her rope.
“Ellen is at the end of her rope,” the source told Us Weekly. “She thought this was all just sour grapes from a few haters. But it’s not a passing thing — the hits just keep coming.”
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