Behind the mirthful facade of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” lies a pit of despair and degradation, claim former staffers.
In an eye-opening report posted by BuzzFeed News on Thursday, 10 ex-show employees and one current one — all speaking anonymously — say that backstage aggression is the norm, which is the polar opposite of the series’ seemingly cozy vibe when the film’s rolling.
“That ‘be kind’ b------- only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one ex-staffer griped to BuzzFeed. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
While most of the subjects interviewed said the primary culprits for the toxic atmosphere are the executive producers, they added that it’s DeGeneres’ responsibility to oversee conditions.
“If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” complained one ex-employee. “I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,' and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that.”
One African-American former employee of “Ellen” says she was bombarded by racist comments and actions during her 18-month stint. She recalled one specific event immediately after her hire involving a senior-level producer and another black staffer.
“Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused,” the producer allegedly told her.
A second alleged instance of racism recounted by the same woman occurred at a work party when one of the main writers said to her, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here.”
“Ellen” executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner issued a joint statement to BuzzFeed on Thursday, conceding that the buck stops with them.
“We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience,” read the announcement. “It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.”