Not-so-hot tickets: Ex-DJ says Ellen DeGeneres’s workplace was toxic
It’s probably time to toss away your Ellen DeGeneres tickets, not that anyone is going to a live taping of the show anytime soon. Right now with the Ellen DeGeneres Show under investigation for claims of a toxic workplace environment. More importantly, people are wondering if the Ellen DeGeneres Show should even continue with the scandal hanging over it.
Now whether or not the show can continue is a story for another day, what we do know, however, is more employees both current and former are letting their voices be heard. According to the former DJ for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the tickets nor the atmosphere were worth it during his time on the series.
In a post on his Instagram, former Ellen DJ Tony Okungbowa wrote, “I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen DeGeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there . . . While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.”
Okungbowa was on the Ellen show from 2003-06 and 2007-13 before he was replaced by Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Okungbowa, Warner Bros TV, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show have no further comments on Okungbowa’s statements at this time.
A brief reminder about the allegations
In a Buzzfeed News article a couple weeks back, former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show got real honest about the toxic workplace culture of the series. This comes on the tail of a popular Twitter thread sharing Ellen DeGeneres’s horror stories and several instances of high profile celebrities, such as Dakota Johnson and YouTuber NikkieTutorials, clapping back.
“That ‘be kind’ bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one former employee was quoted as saying.
Such infractions behind the scenes include: racist comments, people fired for taking medical/bereavement leave, and clear favoritism of the staff. Many of the series top executive producers have been named as the ones who kept such an atmosphere going.
What about Ellen?
In terms of the Buzzfeed News article, Ellen herself got off pretty lightly. The roster of former anonymous employees just more or less accused her of being clueless. At the very least, Ellen DeGeneres was aware of what was going on and didn’t really do anything about it, which is really bad.
It’s garnered her a fair bit of criticism from other celebs. Brad Garrett, best known for his role on Everybody Loves Raymond, told EW, “Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.”
It’s caused a divide in Hollywood. With Kevin Hart, Ashton Kutcher, and Katy Perry coming out in support of DeGeneres, while others like Garrett, Lea Thompson, and more have argued that Ellen should have been more proactive about creating a positive atmosphere on set and making sure that the workplace didn’t get as bad as it has.