Buzzfeed explained that it spoke with one current and 10 former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and their experiences are pretty shocking.
While DeGeneres herself has been using her Instagram platform to highlight the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, it seems her own show needs a lot of improvement with regard to racial discrimination.
One Black woman who used to work on the show explained that when she was hired, a senior producer told her and another Black employee, "Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused." At a work party, the same woman says that one of the main writers 'joked' at her, "I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here." Apparently, her other co-workers just "awkwardly laughed it off."
Meanwhile, another employee explained that they were fired after needing to take medical leave after a suicide attempt.
It's been public knowledge for a while that DeGeneres herself is a bit of an awful person. Her former bodyguard and many of her former staff have previously put her on blast for her rudeness and entitled behaviour, including apparently throwing a plate of salmon at a waiter. With these recent reports though, it's clear that there's a wider problem with the show itself.
"People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that's not the problem. The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean," another former employee of the show claimed. "They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there—'So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'"
If there is one silver lining in all this, it's that current employees are apparently "loving" that the toxic workplace is being exposed. According to an insider source, the staff is happy these issues are being talked about.
"They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story," said the source. "They’re loving that the truth—which has been an open secret for years in the industry—is finally receiving more interest."
It takes a huge amount of guts to come forward against one of the most long-standing popular shows in the entertainment industry. Here's hoping that the current employees of the show are able to continue to push for a safer working environment.
As of writing, DeGeneres has not responded to claims about toxic work culture on her show.