“Mean” Ellen DeGeneres: Did her crew pose as audience members?
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is facing more controversy as a former staffer alleged the Ellen’s fans were kept away from her by staff members masquerading as audience members. The “mean Ellen” theme continues with accusations that audience members were judged by their looks and treated badly by staff.
In yet another “mean” accusation, a former staffer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show claimed employees often posed as members of the show’s audience to stop genuine fans from getting “too close” to the famed talk show host. It’s alleged that crew on the sets took off their work IDs so they could form a barrier between Ellen DeGeneres and the public when she went to visit them in the so-called “Riff-Raff Room”.
“The audience members who don’t get a seat for whatever reason were taken to the Riff-Raff Room where they could watch the show on monitors,” the insider explained. “Ellen would regularly go to say a quick ‘hi’ but what fans didn’t know is staffers took off their IDs and pretended to be audience members, then got in-between Ellen and genuine audience members so she didn’t have to get close to her fans.”
“I never knew why that was, I can only guess it was so she kept her own space,” the source continued.
“The show was always overbooked to make sure every seat was filled. There can’t be any vacant seats but they have to be filled with the right people, the best-looking people,” stated the source. “Audience hopefuls are graded on their looks. The better-looking ones at the front so they get on camera more, the uglier ones at the back. Women were treated and judged by their appearance which is wrong.”
The source who worked three to five days a week on the show, often for up to twelve hours a day, also recounted how crew members felt like they had to stand with their backs to the wall if they came across Ellen in a corridor. The anonymous source stated there was nothing “kind” about working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show over a period stretching several years.
The source is concerned that staff, who enabled a “toxic environment” to flourish, have remained on the show. “It was never a ‘kind’ place. Ellen’s ‘be kind’ philosophy was never mentioned to us when we were working,” the source revealed to The Sun.
“I’m speaking out because I’m worried the people who enabled that ‘toxic environment’ to happen have got away with it and they’re still working there,” the source explained. The new claims follow multiple allegations over the summer, including how staffers on the show experienced “racism, fear and intimidation” on the set of the show.
Three senior producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman were fired from The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a result of the “toxic environment” claims. And Ellen, known for her “be kind” philosophy, has said going forward, “I take responsibility for what happens.” Yet, stories of mean behavior persist.
The insider also claims witnessing audience members receiving mean treatment – more like animals than people – when British boy band One Direction were guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“When One Direction appeared on the show, thousands of fans gathered at the studio hoping to be in the audience,” the anonymous source recalled about mean behavior on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “The fans all had to wait for hours and hours before most of them were told they weren’t going to get in. They’d been herded here and there all day and were distraught. There were scores of fans crying and upset. It was horrible.”
“A lot of them were saying things like, ‘Ellen will get to know about this!’ They were so angry,” the former staffer confided. “But the email address where they sent their complaints to was managed by the audience team, and I know a lot of those emails were just deleted.”