‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’: What the fired producers are accused of
In the wake of the Ellen DeGeneres scandal, heads are starting to roll. A statement has been issued trying to save Ellen’s brand. Known for being nice & kind, Ellen DeGeneres built her brand on treating others fairly and generously. This image was unended by employee complaints in April.
One current employee and ten former employees revealed on Twitter that the workplace on The Ellen Show wasn’t as nice or kind as viewers were led to believe. The employees shared stories of downright toxic behavior from producers.
Employees weren’t the only ones. Celebrities came out of the woodwork to share their stories of less-than-kind treatment from Ellen DeGeneres and her crew. So far, it’s ended in a public relations nightmare. Three producers were fired over their behavior on the show. Here’s who they are and what they did that collapsed Ellen’s kind reputation.
How it all began
The reports of toxic work culture on The Ellen Show began after lockdown. Rumors that Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t paying her crew started to sprout. Ellen DeGeneres herself wasn’t helping, spouting gaffes like how she felt like she was in prison while quarantining in her spacious, multi-million dollar compound.
What really did The Ellen Show in was an attempt to praise the talk show host that backfired. Comedian Kevin T. Porter called for stories about how Ellen DeGeneres was kind in adverse times. What he got were stories about harassment & abuse behind the scenes of Ellen’s talk show.
Racism and no time off
Former employees of the Ellen Show reported experiencing microaggressions and racism while they worked there. When one employee brought up issues she had at work, her boss would bring up “his one black friend” to skirt the issue. “He would use his Black friend as some way to say, ‘I understand your struggle.’ But it was all performative bs.”
Producers of The Ellen Show denied employees time off for being sick or to go to a relative’s funeral. Worse, former employees reported being fired for taking sick or bereavement time.
Most former employees blamed the producers
Most of the stories about The Ellen Show weren’t about Ellen DeGeneres being actively mean. Rather, many put the blame on the producers. They elaborated that producers were responsible for “day-to-day” toxicity. However, since it’s Ellen’s show, she should have taken charge more to hold her producers to the be-kind standard she tried to set.
Ellen’s silence was deafening
While Ellen DeGeneres may not have actively participated in The Ellen Show’s toxic work environment, she let it happen. One employee recalled when a producer screamed at employees in front of Ellen. All she did was giggle and say “I guess every production needs their dogs.”
Many employees knew from this moment that despite Ellen DeGeneres’ facade of kindness, she was enabling her workplace on The Ellen Show to be toxic. Others pointed to her obliviousness as a product of being sheltered by producers. They thought that producers were only telling her good stuff to keep her happy.
Sexual harassment allegations
Here was the final nail in the coffin of not firing producers. Two were accused of sexual harassment & misconduct by thirty-six former employees of The Ellen Show on July 31. Time Warner, who launched an investigation into the toxic work culture in June, announced they were firing producers Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin, and Jonathan Norman.
Previously, producers from The Ellen Show released a statement apologizing for employees’ mistreatment. “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.”
However, sexual harassment allegations in The Ellen Show brought the allegations to a new low. Facing possible legal issues from thirty-six employees, Time Warner fired the producers despite the previous apology.
Ellen is staying on-air, for now.
Amid calls to cancel Ellen, producers are still keeping her on the show. Despite calls for her replacement or The Ellen Show’s end, it remains the third-highest rated daytime talk show. It’s also a rarely-syndicated daytime talk show, bringing in massive ratings and profits for its parent company, Warner Bros.
Ellen DeGeneres also released an apology, promising to do better. However, it’s rumored Ellen may step down after her contract expires in May 2022. Either way, we hope there will be better accountability for producers when The Ellen Show comes back in October.