At this point it would be a big surprise if the daytime talk show Ellen comes back on the other side of covid. Several former show employees have (yet again) come forward to describe a “toxic work environment” behind the scenes of the cheery, upbeat broadcast.
BuzzFeed News spoke with one current and 10 former staffers who say they were unfairly punished for doing things like taking medical leave, and a Black employee described facing constant microaggressions.
No specific allegations were made about DeGeneres herself, who has previously been accused of being “mean.”
But here’s what they did say:
“That ‘be kind’ bullsh*t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show. I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Well, OK — it is called The Ellen 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,” a former employee said. “I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,’ and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that.”
Speaking of those executive producers, here’s what EP’s Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner said in a statement:
“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.”
Or as Melania would say, be best.