Ellen DeGeneres is in the news once again after former employees come forward, accusing her of allowing producers to create a toxic work environment.
In March, a Twitter thread calling Ellen DeGeneres the meanest person in Hollywood got a lot of attention. It acted as an opportunity for anyone who’s had a bad experience with Ellen to get vent. Many of the stories are believable and seem to come from first hand experiences. It led me, the biggest Ellen fan on Earth, to look at my idol differently. However, while these stories seem legitimate, there has been no way to prove they are. That is until yesterday, when one current and 10 former employees spoke out against the three executive producers. It kind of makes me feel better that Ellen isn’t the only problem in this toxic work environment.
What Are Their Claims
The 11 employees who chose to speak out, chose to remain anonymous. While the internet focuses on Ellen being mean, they say that isn’t even the biggest issue. They claim that while from the outside it looks like a great workplace, it is the exact opposite. The producers allegedly give off the vibe that employees should feel lucky to work there. They are always reminded that others would kill to be there and if they are unhappy, their replacement can be found quickly.
“The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean.One employees statement to Buzzfeed
The producers in question are Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner. They are heavily featured on the talk show and are usually being laughed at. When the Twitter thread came out in March, I thought Andy and Mary were victims of Ellen, but now it seems like they are part of the toxicity. One black woman says she experienced microaggressions, and was reprimanded for suggesting diversity training. Another employee claims, that after returning from medical leave after a suicide attempt, her position was terminated. There are three other similar cases where someone was fired after taking time off for a valid reason. None of this sounds great for the three producers.
How Can They Get Away With It?
It seems crazy to us how they can get away with this, however the employees seem to have a clue. They allege, not everyone is treated this way and therefore it may be hard for negative stories to be believed. That is the way a toxic environment is allowed to continue. You are made to feel as if you are the only one with these feelings and are being dramatic. I once applied for a job at Ellen. I am so happy I didn’t get the job. All I know is I would not be able to handle all this toxicity.
“They hire people who maybe are inexperienced with how a functional, nontoxic work environment actually is, or someone who just wants to be in that atmosphere so bad that they’ll put up with it,”One employees statement to Buzzfeed
They also note in the Buzzfeed article, the producers ability to hire individuals they can manipulate. They brand the environment as the best there is. People who don’t know any better, won’t know they are being taken advantage of and won’t retaliate. The direction also comes from the top. While these employees haven’t come forward with negative experiences with Ellen DeGeneres, they say she should step in and condemn these acts. By not doing so, she seems to praise them. If she truly is the caring person she portrays herself to be, you would think she wants her employees to be happy. These employees say she should be more involved and not trust those around her, telling her everything is going well.
How Did Producers React
Of course they aren’t going to come right out and say they are abusive to their employees. In a statement to E! News, the trio sort of apologized. It was more of a defense than an apology. They said they are “heartbroken and sorry to learn that” members of their staff experienced negativity. They claim “It’s not who (they) are and not who (they) strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for (them).” In the statement, they also defended Ellen, taking complete responsibility for the day to day operations of the show. The statement end the way they all do, with the promise to learn and do better in the future.
The more that comes out, the more upset I become. I feel like as soon as I got over the initial shock, this story comes out. I started watching Ellen at 11 years old and have called myself her biggest fan ever since. Well since March the name Ellen hasn’t come out of my mouth and her face has not appeared on my TV screen. It’s just one hit after another at this point. I feel like I wasted 13 years of my life. Anyways, you live and you learn. I will now live with the assumption that all of Hollywood is fake, until each individual celebrity proves otherwise. To hear what I thought of Ellen’s downfall in March read my previous article.
How do you feel about the Ellen DeGeneres Show? Did this article change your mind about her? Let me know in the comments!