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Former Employees Rip Ellen Degeneres Show: ‘‘Be Kind’ Bulls**t Only Happens When The Cameras Are On’
Ellen DeGeneres attends The 77th Golden Globes Awards - Press Room at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

One current employee and 10 former employees of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” have come forward with accusations that the atmosphere of the show behind the scenes is far from the show’s motto, “be kind.”

The employees spoke to Buzzfeed News, which delineated various charges that were made. One former employee asserted, “That ‘be kind’ bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show. I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.” Another bitter comment, “I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show’s brand. They pull on people’s heartstrings; they do know that’s going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that’s not always reality.”

Some of the accusations included insensitive comments about race, being fired after returning from a month-long absence at a mental health facility, and receiving a warning after creating and publicizing a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for medical costs that weren’t covered by the show’s health insurance.

One former employee told Buzzfeed News, “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. 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 black woman, a former employee, told Buzzfeed News that she had experienced various forms of discrimination, adding, “Whenever I brought up an issue to my white male boss, he would bring up some random story about some random Black friend that he had and how they managed to get over stuff. He would use his Black friend as some way to say, ‘I understand your struggle.’ But it was all performative bulls**t.” She stated that her manager from the show recently contacted her to apologize but that didn’t suffice, stating, “I feel angry about the way I was treated, and I am always going to stand up for Black, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian people, regardless if they’re around. I can’t not say anything. I’m not going to stop talking.”

Another former employee said they had worked on the show for nearly a year but then spent a month at mental health facility for a suicide attempt. The week they returned to work their position was removed. The employee stated, “You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives. Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s a stigma. They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”

The employee who created the GoFundMe campaign stated that within a day of creating the campaign, they were informed in the department head’s office that the page should be removed because it might damage DeGeneres’s image. The employee said, “They discovered my fundraiser, then got mad at me. … They were more concerned about Ellen’s brand instead of helping me out.”

Buzzfeed wrote, “According to employees, there’s a division between staff members who work on the show: people who ‘drink the Kool-Aid’ and are usually well-liked by producers, and people who recognize the work environment is toxic. Those who push back against senior producers don’t usually have their contracts renewed, former employees said.”

In April, Variety reported that many of the crewmembers of the show were furious because they “received no written communication about the status of their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their mental and physical health from producers for over a month.”

Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner issued a statement to Buzzfeed News that read:

Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 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. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us. For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Former Employees Rip Ellen Degeneres Show: ‘‘Be Kind’ Bulls**t Only Happens When The Cameras Are On’