People who work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show are reportedly “loving” that the “open secret” about how terrible it is to work for Ellen is being made public.
Last week, Buzzfeed published an extensive report on the allegedly toxic and racist work culture at Ellen’s show based on eleven current and former employees who accused management of not taking mental health issues seriously and making racist comments about Black employees.
“They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story,” an unnamed source told Us Weekly. “They’re loving that the truth — which has been an open secret for years in the industry — is finally receiving more interest.”
The source said that the reason all 11 staffers who spoke to Buzzfeed refused to be named was because management on Ellen’s show makes employees sign nondisclosure agreements when they’re hired.
“You can’t say anything, even nice things, even if you get fired, even years after you’ve left,” the source said.
Accusations in the Buzzfeed report – which were about management on Ellen’s show, not Ellen herself – from last week ranged from microaggressions to allegedly paying a Black employee half of what her less-experienced, white counterparts were making.
One source, a Black woman, said that a senior producer noticed that she and another Black woman had box braids and said, “Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused.”
She said that a writer told her that they don’t know her name because “I only know the names of the white people who work here.”
Another former employee said that she took a month of medical leave after a suicide attempt and returned to find out her position had been eliminated.
“You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives,” that employee said. “Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s stigma. They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said in a joint statement: “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.”