Harassment, racism, sexism: A guide to ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ claims
2020 has been a garbage pile of a year for everyone around the world. So it’s no surprise that the world is coming for people who have spent their entire lives being fake. One of the most surprising targets is talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen has made a career thanks to The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the media empire around it. But more importantly, she’s made a career on being nice and kind, and specifically the mantra “Be Kind”. However, various reports have come out painting a different story about what goes on behind the scenes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
If you’re lost in the sea of accusations against Ellen and her staff at this point, we get it. It seems like every day there’s new tea out about how Ellen DeGeneres is mean and her staff is abusive. Here’s a quick roundup of all the allegations against The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Ellen herself.
Comparing her house to prison
While this didn’t get everyone to swing against her, a lot attributed this moment to the beginning of the downfall. On her first show from home, Ellen compared being stuck in her million-dollar home during quarantine as being in prison. No one enjoyed her joke though, and this was the first incident that put Ellen on the bad list.
Kevin T Porter’s thread
The majority of the trouble started when Kevin T Porter posted a tweet asking for stories about how Ellen’s mean. Every tweet he got and could verify was true, Porter would donate $3 to a local food bank. The thread ended up getting over 2000 replies in 24 hours, though Porter only donated $600 or so to the food bank.
These allegations included on-set behavior from Ellen, as well as the way she treated her fans, and the way she treated retail and restaurant workers she interacted with. Overall, the stories varied from Ellen claiming she made artwork a fan made, to trying to get a waitress fired over old nail polish she was wearing.
Her former bodyguard speaks out
Already, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is in panic mode after Porter’s thread, and allegedly, there was an emergency meeting held on Zoom between top producers and the show’s staff. But while that was going on, the allegations continued as a bodyguard that covered Ellen and her wife during the Oscars 2014.
The bodyguard said she basically said nothing to him the entire night, even as Portia was quite social with him. She even gave him dirty looks at points allegedly. He felt the experience was “kind of demeaning”.
The bombshell Buzzfeed News report
Really, this is the moment when there was no return for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. This report didn’t just take down Ellen, but the senior producers of the show. Allegations were a-flying in the Buzzfeed News report from former employees.
Everything from wrongful termination while on medical leave, to racist comments, to bribery to keep quiet and let the abuse happen was alleged in this report. Also in the report claimed that it was the producers behind the abuse, and Ellen wasn’t involved in the day to day operations, so she didn’t know what was going on.
This report was really what set off the chain of events we’re dealing with now. The Ellen DeGeneres Show saw its biggest ratings drop in years over these new allegations. Their parent company WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation involving a third party into the allegations. Heck, rumors started spreading that Ellen was going to “retire” and be replaced.
In response to the report, Ellen herself sent a letter out to all the staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and a copy was leaked to the media. In the letter, she said she tried to make her show “a place of happiness” and kindness, but that’s far from the truth now. She mentions she’s working with the investigation to make sure these problems are resolved.
However, while she does take responsibility for stepping back from day-to-day operations, she puts a lot of the blame on the producers themselves. She notes that “something’s changed”, claiming she had no clue any of this was going on and that she “relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done.” Many called the apology staged and claimed it was just damage control.
Sexual harassment allegations
If the on set culture of The Ellen DeGeneres Show wasn’t already a mess, these other allegations of sexual harassment from three of the executive producers prove there’s a problem. Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and John Norman all have allegations against them from employees of sexual misconduct.
Glavin and Leman’s allegations are more so for inappropriate touching than anything else, while Norman has been accused of grooming coworkers and repeated unwanted sexual advances. Both Leman and Norman have outright denied the allegations, while Glavin has stayed quiet. Even before these allegations came out, it was rumored Glavin was getting fired from the show.
The celebrities speaking out on Ellen.
Since all these allegations have come out, it’s been a topic of controversy within the Hollywood community on if Ellen was mean or not. But in the past few weeks especially, many friends and family of Ellen’s have spoken out in her defense. Both Ellen’s wife Portia de Rossi and her brother Vance DeGeneres have defended her, claiming she’s not the monster the media is painting.
Similarly, singer Katy Perry has also spoken out in defense of the host, saying that her experiences with her have been nothing but great. Actors Ashton Kutcher and Jerry O’Connell have also both spoken out in defense of Ellen. Surprisingly, Scooter Braun also spoke out in defense of Ellen, though he’s also been through several scandals himself.
Even Kevin Hart, who Ellen defended among his homophobic tweets scandal this past year, made sure to vocally support Ellen. But there’s also plenty of celebrities who aren’t being so nice to her.
Actor Brad Garrett tweeted directly at Ellen, saying the kind of behavior alleged comes from the top, and actress Lea Thompson retweeted, saying “true story”. Former star of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Tony Okungbowa (who was DJ Tony for a decade) also called out the toxic culture on the show.
Will Ellen get replaced?
This is where we end The Ellen DeGeneres Show drama. The reality is, even if these allegations turn out to be true, people have been guilty of worse and still have careers. What it comes down to is if The Ellen DeGeneres Show can rebuild its trust with its audience, and more importantly, rebrand itself past all this.
Maybe that means buying Ellen out of her contract that expires in 2022, and getting someone else in her seat. Maybe that means retiring the show altogether. Maybe that means having the show take a break, but come back with new producers and a new attitude. At the end of the day, cancel culture only matters if the people doing the “cancelling” stop tuning in.