EXCLUSIVE: Ellen DeGeneres is telling show executives she’s had enough and is ready to call it quits as staffers slam her apology and claim she’s the problem and has ‘enabled the toxic culture at the show to go on for so long’
- Earlier this month, one current and 10 former employees at the Ellen DeGeneres Show revealed there is a toxic work environment fostered at the show
- Now former staffers have accused Ellen of ‘turning a blind eye’ to rampant sexual misconduct by senior-level producers on her hit daytime TV talk show
- DailyMail.com, can reveal that the host is telling executives at Telepictures and Warner Bros that she has had enough and wants to walk away from the show
- ‘She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,’ a source said
- This comes as staff at the Ellen DeGeneres Show are hitting back at the eponymous talk show host for shifting the blame to her executive producers
- Ellen recently sent her staff a memo in which she wrote she was ‘taking steps to correct’ issues with her employees after several complaints
- ‘Don’t think for a minute anything she has said in that apology means anything. She created and enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long,’ a staffer said
- An internal investigation has been launched by WarnerMedia
Ellen DeGeneres may be ready to call it quits on her daytime talk show as pressure builds with claims of the host perpetuating a toxic work environment, DailyMail.com can reveal.
An insider at Telepictures tells DailyMail.com that the host is telling executives at Telepictures and Warner Bros that she has had enough and wants to walk away from the show.
‘She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,’ they said. ‘The truth is she knew what was going on, it’s her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun – but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame.’
This comes as staff at the Ellen DeGeneres Show are hitting back at her for shifting the blame to her executive producers in an apology memo sent this week.
‘Don’t think for a minute anything she has said in that apology means anything. She created and then enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long,’ one staffer, who spoke to DailyMail.com on condition of anonymity, said. ‘If anyone had come to her or those three vile [executive producers] to complain, they would’ve been fired.’
DailyMail.com, can reveal that Ellen DeGeneres is telling executives at Telepictures and Warner Bros that she has had enough and wants to walk away from the show
Executive Producers of the Ellen DeGeneres Show Mary Connelly (left), Andy Lassner (center), and Ed Glavin have been accused of fostering a hostile work environment. ‘If anyone had come to her or those three vile EPs [executive producers] to complain, they would’ve been fired,’ a staffer said
‘Inside Telepictures we’ve had enough of her. She is a phony who does not practice what she preaches,’ our Telepictures source said.
‘The behavior of her show executives has been appalling, but [Ellen] is no better. In fact, she is the worst. It’s outrageous that she is trying to pretend that this is all a shock to her. The fish rots from the head, and Ellen is the head.’
Our Telepictures insider claims that Ellen ‘hates coming to work’ and ‘struggles to be nice to people and has utter contempt for her audience.’
‘She has been phoning it in for so long, and only staying for the money and celebrity it affords her,’ they said. ‘We’ve dealt with her BS for so many years, she’s not innocent at all, she’s not nice and the show is not filled with happiness.’
The claims of a toxic work environment were revealed earlier this month by one current and 10 former employees of the daytime talk show who accused the three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’
Ellen came out with an apology after it was announced earlier this week that her show was now subject to a probe by WarnerMedia which will look into ‘staff experiences on set’.
However our source claims that the backlash may cloud the show’s success in the future and it could be time to end things.
‘At this point, there’s really no way to save the show from this PR nightmare, so Ellen leaving may be the only way for this entire mess to go away.
‘While it is our most profitable show in daytime, we no longer make the money we used to make from the show, as we have to pay her tens of millions of dollars per year to show up.’
The insider says Telepictures will need to develop a new show and star quickly to take over the lucrative timeslot that Ellen currently holds.
‘We thought our problems were with the cast upheaval at The Real, we had no idea that Ellen would implode during quarantine,’ they added.
‘She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,’ a source said of Ellen contemplating quitting her show. She’s pictured on her show with 17-year-old pop star Billie Eilish
Executive producer Andy Lassner tweeted with confidence on Thursday that ‘nobody is going off the air’
Ellen recently sent her staff a memo in which she wrote she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees after several complaints and an internal investigation into the supposed bad behavior was launched.
‘On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry,’ Ellen said in the memo.
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘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,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’
‘As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t,’ she added. ‘That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’
But multiple staff members at the show tell DailyMail.com they are not buying Ellen’s apology and are calling on her to call it quits.
One staffer said, ‘She’s only addressing this now because the publicity is so bad for her and her BS brand of happiness and kindness. Ellen can throw everyone else under the bus, but the buck stops with her.
‘Whenever she’d tell viewers to choose kindness, I’d throw up a little in my mouth because she always chose the opposite,’ they added.
Among the allegations was one made by a Black woman who claimed she suffered a number of ‘microaggressions,’ her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of ‘walking around looking resentful and angry’ after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee alleged they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
Even Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett chimed in Thursday in a tweet, saying, ‘Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.’
Our source said: ‘She was happy to put her name on the show, yet she let those three executive producers do whatever they wanted. The fish rots from the head and Ellen and the three of them are now rotting.’
They also claimed Ellen and her executive producers will be on a ‘witch hunt’ now to find who spoke out against them.
‘Don’t think for a second that there won’t be a witch hunt to find out who went public with the worst kept secret in television,’ they said. ‘Ellen is mean. She’ll want vengeance for all of this coming out.’
A popular claim that has circulated is that staff members were instructed not to speak to Ellen, and our source corroborated that claim.
‘She kept herself isolated from the staff. You can’t go up and talk to her, heck, you can’t even get within a mile of her on the lot,’ they said.
In addition to these claims, the show was rocked again on Thursday when three dozen employees of the daytime talk show alleged that senior executives who work behind the scenes groped and kissed staffers, solicited one of them for oral sex, and were ‘handsy with women.’
The former staffers told BuzzFeed News that they believe the host knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.
Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett chimed saying in a tweet, ‘Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge’
Employees have claimed they were instructed not to talk to her if they saw her in the building
Now former staffers have accused Ellen of ‘turning a blind eye’ to rampant sexual misconduct by senior-level producers on her hit daytime TV talk show
Current employees are now calling on Ellen to call it quits.
‘Warner Bros should cancel our show or swap her out for a fun celebrity host. Viewers have been fed lies for years. The Ellen you see on TV is disingenuous and inauthentic. She’s a horrible person who has done nothing to support 99% of the people who work for her.
‘Yet they won’t cancel it as all they care about is money and the show is a cash cow.
‘It’s time for Ellen to leave TV. She’s done enough damage. They should replace her with someone wonderful like Jen Aniston. She’s always a dream when she comes by – gracious, kind and funny and we’re actually allowed to look her in the eyes!!’
A source initially told Buzzfeed that the executive producers feel that ‘everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there: ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.”
Executive Producer Andy Lassner tweeted with confidence on Thursday that ‘nobody is going off the air’.
Our source said: ‘Many of us have a theory that Ellen behaves this way as a mechanism to protect herself. She was so damaged when her sitcom was canceled after she came out that she chose to keep people at a distance in order not to get hurt should this show be canceled. Yet 17 seasons later it’s still on the air and she’s so powerful now she thought she could do whatever she wanted.’
One staffer told DailyMail.com: ‘Even though our show is crumbling around us, it’s liberating for everything to come out into the open.’
Ellen DeGeneres’ memo to her staff addressing mistreatment allegations
Hey everybody — it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me. It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice.
We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then. Stay safe and healthy.