TV personality Ellen DeGeneres has been accused by ten former employees of allowing producers to foster a toxic workplace environment.
The former “Ellen Show” employees blamed executive producers and other senior managers for the workplace environment, according to a report published Thursday by Buzzfeed News. One former employee noted it was still DeGeneres’ name behind the brand.
Former Employees Say Ellen’s “Be Kind” Talk Show Mantra Masks A Toxic Work Culture That Has Most Living In Constant Fear https://t.co/h3Xj7rIPAf
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) July 17, 2020
“She really needs to take more responsibility,” the former employee told the outlet.
All former employees talked to the outlet anonymously due to fear of repercussions in the entertainment industry.
Some employees claimed they were fired after taking medical leave or time off for funerals of relatives. One employee claimed she quit her job over comments about her race. A handful of former employees alleged they were told not to speak to DeGeneres if they saw her around the office, Buzzfeed reported.
“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 told the outlet. “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.” (RELATED: Ellen DeGeneres Reportedly Thought Accusations Against Her Were Just ‘Sour Grapes’)
The producers of the show claimed they take the accusations “seriously” in a joint statement given to Buzzfeed.
This was one of my favorite stories of the year. pic.twitter.com/qH7ZO7fAp7
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 9, 2020
“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,” they said in the 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.
“For the record, the day to day responsibility of the ‘Ellen show’ is completely on us,” the statement added. “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.”
The accusations come after DeGeneres has been the focus of several reports regarding her “cold” behavior. The talk show host was first accused of being “cold and distant” by a beauty YouTuber who appeared on her show in January. Next, DeGeneres was accused of keeping her employees in the dark regarding pay and hours amid the coronavirus pandemic. Then, a former security guard for the television host claimed she had been rude during the 2014 Oscars.