Ellen DeGeneres Show being investigated over 'toxic' workplace claims

Sarah Carty
·Lifestyle Editor
·4-min read

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reportedly under investigation following multiple allegations of its “toxic work environment”.

Over the past few months, the show has been plagued by rumours and recently, a number of staff and former workers on the daytime talk show spoke out anonymously to Buzzfeed, slamming the reported mistreatment they experienced during their time at the show.

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show,  May 24, 2016 in Burbank, CA
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reportedly under investigation. Photo: Getty Images

In response, WarnerMedia is believed to have launched an internal investigation, with a third party firm reportedly being hired to interview current and former staff about their experiences while working on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Allegations from current and former employees include claims of being fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days, facing microaggressions and a culture of bullying and favouritism by executive producers.

No specific claims were made against Ellen, although some staff claimed they were told not to speak to the TV presenter and comedian if she was in the office.

Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner said in a 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. We take all of this very seriously and we realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."

It comes after Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Fox News that Ellen’s brand is losing ‘credibility’ and her ‘moral high ground’ amid ongoing allegations of bullying and racism,

“Authenticity is king with celebrity brands and these continued leaks are lacerating her credibility and mangling her capacity to continue to try to be positioned at a high moral ground,” he said.

He went on to address the allegations against the TV show and Ellen, saying: “It's celebrity brand suicide.”

Ellen faces backlash

Back in May it was revealed that the 63-year-old superstar TV host is struggling with the rumours, which just don’t seem to be going away.

“Ellen is at the end of her rope,” an insider told Us Weekly.

“She thought this was all just sour grapes from a few haters. But it’s not a passing thing — the hits just keep coming.”

Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Ellen DeGeneres has hosted the show for seven years. Photo: Getty Images

It comes just days after a former staffer told the New York Post: "The stories are all true!"

"Is she always nice? No." They continued: "It irritates me that people think she’s all sweetness and light and she gets away with it," they added.

Ellen, who famously ends her show telling viewers to "be kind to one another", first came up against allegations against her character in a Twitter thread, which asked people to respond with ‘insane stories’ they’d heard about Ellen ‘being mean’.

People responded with allegations of wild demands the star has reportedly made and what she was really like on the set of the show.

Tom Majercak, a former security guard who worked for Ellen and her family when she hosted the 2014 Academy Awards, alleged to Fox News that the star was "very cold".

 Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres attend the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Ellen is said to be 'at the end of her rope' over the allegations. Photos: Getty Images

He claimed that while her wife Portia was delightful to work with, Ellen didn’t engage at all beyond a ‘side glance out of her eye’, saying he was shocked to witness her ‘false facade’ drop away.

"It's bugged me for years," he admitted. "I see this person come across as being very enlightened and positive and awesome and everybody loves her and is in awe and that's really not the case when you meet her in person."

He added Ellen was the only celebrity he has ever worked with who didn’t greet him when introduced.

“She's not the person she portrays to be that she's playing off of society,” he said. “That's my opinion.”

With extra reporting by Albertina Lloyd

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