Ellen DeGeneres’ ‘Be Kind’ reputation under threat as show is investigated for bullying
The chat show host has built her million dollar brand on an image of kindness, but allegations of racism, bullying and intimidation behind the scenes of her daytime chat show have sparked an internal investigation
Ellen DeGeneres’ ‘Be Kind’ mantra has been dealt a major blow following the revelation her talk show is to be probed following numerous complaints of a ‘toxic’ working environment.
WarnerMedia launched an investigation into the comedienne’s long-running day time show following months of concerning accusations from ex employees and current staff.
The insiders on The Ellen Show – shown weekdays on ITV2 – raised questions of bullying, intimidation and racism on set.
The claims are at odds with the bubbly, funny lady persona and charitable giveaways Ellen has become known for.
In March, comedian Kevin T Porter took to Twitter and called Ellen ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive.’
He appealed for ‘insane stories’ and many were quick to respond.
Porter said: “Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about!
“She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive. Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodbank.”
Among those replying was TV writer Benjamin Siemon who described Ellen as having a ‘sensitive nose.’
“So everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her, and if she thinks you smell you have to go home and shower,” he claimed.
Others wrote that her riders feature bizarre and rare items while one waitress alleged that Ellen wrote a letter of complaint about her chipped nail polish.
Then ten former employees of the Ellen Show and one who is currently still there – all asking to remain anonymous – made further allegations about the series.
A black woman claimed that a senior producer told her and another employee “Oh wow, you both have box braids. I hope we don’t get you confused.”
Another ex employee called Ellen’s Be Kind message as ‘b******t that only happens when the cameras are on’
A third former employee claimed they were fired from the show when they took time off following a car accident and to attend the funerals of family members.
A fourth said they were warned for creating a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medical costs not covered by their work health insurance.
As the allegations began to rise, Ellen received further backlash in April after she compared spending isolation in her £20million mansion to being in prison.
“This is like being in jail. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days, and everyone in here is gay,” she joked.
Then more than 30 members of her crew alleged that they’d had no information about their working hours or pay for more than a month during the coronavirus crisis.
Following the allegations, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner said they take the stories of the employees “very seriously”
They added: “Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment.
“We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.