Writer Says, "Fuck Yeah!"

Ellen D. A Meanie?

Ellen Degeneres had only good things to say about her striking writers the other day, but her writers don’t have anything nice to say about her. Page Six reports that Ms. D has a reputation for being an abusive tyrant:

On SurgicalStrikes.com, one former, unidentified, writer for her 2001-02 sitcom, The Ellen Show, reports she treated her writers “like [bleep].”

“We’d watch her in rehearsals, smiling and winning us over with her charm and comic timing. Then the director would yell cut, her face would fall, and she’d level a glare at the writers. ‘Why do you keep writing these unfunny jokes?’ she’d hiss.

“Ellen frequently eviscerated the head writer and . . . boasted of the changes she’d make in season two, starting with his firing.” But, the blogger continues facetiously, the axed writer “was a hack anyway – all he did after leaving was create Arrested Development and win two Emmys for writing, another for Best Comedy.”

The vengeful blogger also suggests that Degeneres continues churning out her talk show because she’s afraid a strike could end her career. That, of course, is bullshit. It’s because she likes the attention. And money.


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  • Matt

    Hm. So it appears that Ellen is not, like Mary Poppins, Practically Perfect In Every Way? Shocking. Say, Qweerty, is there an out gay celebrity, political leader, or media creature that is in any way admirable? The whole eat-your-own turn that the ENDA debate took got me wondering, and this just adds to it. Seems that gay celebrities and public figures are, in fact, not perfect icons, but human beings with diverse opinions, bad habits, cranky personalities, and occasional foul moods. And when they display human personality traits or imperfect independent thought, they are ridiculed and dismissed (see Barney Frank, Ellen D, Madonna, Rosie, Lance etc…). I just can’t help wondering why it is that we viciously condemn the closeted, but fawningly celebrate the Coming Out of public figures, and then proceed to dismember them.

  • Mr. B

    Being someone who works with writers for a living, I can say that writers of ANY kind can be really tough to wrangle–and really resistant to criticism from editors, directors, you name it. Not that ALL writers are that way, by any stretch, but when you work your tail off trying to make words work and then someone eviscerates them (hey, sometimes it’s necessary!), it’s really easy to see your critic as a tyrant. Especailly if s/he gets the last word on your work.

    And shit, running a TV show is hard. As Matt above said, who IS perfect? Being an out celebrity doesn’t make you a shining guardian angel.

    Of course, watch various media outlets take this and run with it–first the dog thing and now Ellen’s writers are bitching about her, so she’ll be billed as Another Crazy Lesbo.

  • Apres Ski

    I’m just disappointed Ellen didnt’ support the very people she’ll need to write her movies after her TV show goes down in the ratings.

    No one is easy to work with and creative people are nightmares. However, I did expect her to support the very people who, in an even smaller community, she’ll have to work with after this is all over.

    Just how funny or successful her creative life will be, will be very interesting after this strike is over. Creative people have very long memories. I’m still hearing & reading stories about those being ‘blacklisted’ in the 50’s in the Have You Now or Have You Ever Been . . .

    The problem is not that people are gay or come out as gay. The problem is their personalities are just truly awful. You’d rather have them in the closet for all the warts you get to see in broad daylight.

    Ellen has just moved off my ‘Must Tape List’. I don’t mean down the list, I mean off the list permanently. The Iggy situation I understood, but not helping your fellow workers get a raise is just awful!!

    I just wonder what Ellen would do if the situation were reverse? I wonder if Ellen needed a raised based her her writers, would they vote to give her that raise? HELL NO!!

  • Apres Ski

    I just wonder what Ellen would do if the situation were reverse? I wonder if Ellen needed a raise based on her writers vote, would they vote to give her that raise? HELL NO!

  • Scully

    I think she’s doing the right thing. I’m sure she’s supporting her writers but at the same time there are more than 100 staff members in the team that won’t get paid if she doesn’t show off. Either way, it’s a tough decision. Plus her show is syndicated and other daytime shows like the view haven’t stopped taping as well.

  • hells kitchen guy

    1 She was right to be a btich. The writing on the show sucked.
    2 Talkshows aren’t as affected by the writer’s strike and it’s probably in her contract to go on if she can. She’s not walking through the picket line, because she’s not a writer.

  • GranDiva

    Well, no, she’s not a writer, but there are SAG and AFTRA members who aren’t crossing the WGA picket lines in solidarity…

    And while Ellen may be a colossal bitch, I think it’s a little tacky to tar and feather her without really knowing if the allegations are true, much less without having heard any other sides to the story. It’s so not responsible-type journalism (though I realize that I’m saying this about a blog which isn’t really held to the standards of legitimate journalism, the least of which is neutral reporting of established facts).

  • Dawster

    as one who would love to write for a living (and currently isn’t), i can tell you that there are two sides of this process there’s the side that writes for work, and those that write for heart.

    one side writes for the reader, taking an external look at what is scribed to make sure it’s digestible to the audience. this side welcomes criticism because there is a grand insecurity that comes with the fear of failure and not being good enough. i have one two small projects falls into this catagory.

    the other side writes for the author, which peers in as a window to his soul, emotions, feeling, and mentality. it’s like painting a picture or crafting a sculpture. it’s an art project that comes from inside, out the fingertips, and onto the paper. this side hates criticism because any dislike of the work means a direct dislike of the artist himself. it’s personal. i have two poetry collections which fall into this category.

    when i write, i hope from one side to the other. it’s easy and it keeps emotions at bay. i have a blog where i try to link the two sides together… it’s from the heart, but it’s meant for the reader.

    someone like Ellen, john Stewart, etc. has to balance the two sides. it HAS to peer into their soul and be personal… AND it has to be pleasing/funny to a mass audience. I’m telling you, that’s a difficult balance.

    there is so many insecurities in fickle television, so there are many reasons to fail – everything has to be perfect. Oddly, people learn through mistakes. The Ellen Show is gone, and i’m sure everyone walked away with something they have learned to make better shows today…

    everyone except one lone writer who’s still bitching about something that happened 5 years ago.

  • Rt. Rev. Dr. RES

    The cult of celebrity worldwide, and especially emanating out of Hollywood, is often because some individuals were born from privileged wombs, or adopted by celebrities, or second or third or more generations “in the business.”

    There are also who start from nothing…are given THE break “overnight” after ten or more years of waitering, etc… In 24/7 cable infotertainment, we are privy to even their privates.

    Celebrities are not often those whom I comment upon. My exception is Rosie O’Donnell because we went on a cruise with her along with thousands of others.

    My problems are with politicians who say they are activist statespersons and then act like pragmatic and compromisory politicians on the base level.

  • hisurfer

    Matt – I don’t think it’s a gay thing to eviscerate celebrities. This cycles happens to all of them – or at least, all the ones that court the tabloids. They’re loved for a season, then disembowled publicly. Then they’re loved again, long enough for their wounds to heal, but only to be cut again.

    That or they sail off the deep end (Brit, Rosie, Norma Desmond … and Lance Bass better watch himself ’cause his turn will be soon).

  • ohnonotthat

    I don’t claim to have any inside information regarding the strike, but I am a career writer. As such, I’m disappointed Ellen crossed the picket lines, but not surprised, and I can’t honestly say I blame her. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” isn’t a “network” show in the traditional sense; it’s syndicated worldwide. As such, her production company has an obligation to create a certain number of shows within a certain timespan or risk breaking numerous contracts.
    As for her treatment of writers, I can only attest to the fact that writers are just as egotistical, hard-headed and insufferable as actors, and when you get these two classes of people in the same room… well, you get the point.

  • jewel

    I was an ardent fan of Ellen’s. But I’ve grown to hate her talk show. All she does is panders and fawns over a lot of these egotistical celebrities because she wants so badly to be part of the A-List crowd.
    I do not think she is good at interviewing people, unless you call kissing ass an interviewing skill. Rosie O’Donnell was a crackerjack at interviewing her guests on her show–she was never boring. Her show always crackled.
    Ellen tries too hard to be “nice” and is so bland when she’s not gushing over her latest celebrity guest that I zone out. She is no longer of the common people, and strikes me as somebody who only wants to associate with other celebrities to further her own celebrity-ism. That’s why she kisses ass so much. You don’t win Emmys by being a maverick–you win them by being politically in with those who vote. She doesn’t want to support her fellow writers because they are lower than her on the Hollywood food chain. She’s a member of WGA yet she crosses their picket line. That’s real loyalty.

    And she uses dog adoption as a publicity stunt. Ellen, STOP ADOPTING DOGS! First Lucy, now Iggy. I do not understand why you could not come up with a workable solution for either dog, given how big your property is. I think the dogs were TOO MUCH WORK and TROUBLE for her, so she decided to get rid of them instead of figuring out a workable solution with the cats. (Unless she is BLAMING the Cats instead of admitting SHE or her latest girlfriend didn’t like the animals). And thanks to her crocodile tears on her TV show, the animal adoption agency has received death threats and harassing phone calls. Nice going, Ellen.
    So she treats her writers like crap? I am not surprised. I am a writer myself, and really hate people like Ellen who abuse their staff and blame them FOR HER FAILURE. Don’t get laughs? Maybe it’s the way you delivery the line, Ellen, and NOT the writer. So she crosses the picket line instead of supporting the WGA? Why is everybody so surprised? She doesn’t want to miss being on her show in her zeal to keep clawing up the Hollywood ladder. A person like her who dumps dogs at the drop of a hat and treats writers like crap doesn’t give a damn. She only cares about herself and making sure her face is on TV, no matter who she steps on.

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