A former bodyguard hired to protect Ellen DeGeneres when the beloved comedian hosted the 2014 Oscars criticized her as "cold," and agreed with others who have suggested DeGeneres' sunny demeanor is just an act for her show. Tom Majercak told Fox News how DeGeneres was one of the few celebrities who did not speak to him at all when he worked with them. Majerack's comments come a few weeks after Variety reported several Ellen DeGeneres Show employees were not pleased with how they were treated when the show went on a break during the coronavirus pandemic.
Majercak was senior manager of operations for Security Imagery Specialists when he was assigned to escort DeGeneres, her wife Portia de Rossi and her mother throughout the night of the 86th Academy Awards. "I'm holding their hands and walking them through individuals and large groups of people," he said. "Ellen is the one person that I've been assigned to — and I've been assigned to quite a few celebrities — that has never taken the time to say hi to me."
Although DeGeneres left him "cold," Majercak, who left SIS last year, said de Rossi was "very pleasant and carried on a conversation." But the night went sour when the Arrested Development star introduced him to DeGeneres who did not say hello or even thank him. "It was very cold and it was very sly and it was actually kind of demeaning in the way that she treats people other than those who are in her circle," he said.
Majerca said he was inspired to speak out after hearing about the allegations from DeGeneres' staff and former guest Nikki de Jager. "It's bugged me for years," he told Fox News. "I see this person come across as being very enlightened and positive and awesome and everybody loves her and is in awe and that's really not the case when you meet her in person."
Last month, sources told Variety that members of the Ellen show staff were "distressed and outraged" by how top producers treated them during the confusion about the show's future due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sources described confusion among the main stage crew, which did not understand how they would be paid while DeGeneres filmed episodes from her home. Some staffers have been working with DeGeneres since she filmed her pilot almost two decades ago and were disappointed to learn staffers at other shows were being paid in full during the pandemic.
De Jager, better known as YouTuber NikkieTutorials, told Dutch publication &C in April that being on Ellen was nothing like what she expected. She described the show as "Teletubbies after dark" and said she learned "don't meet your idols" during the experience. "It's nice that you say 'hi' before the show... she didn't," de Jager recalled. "Ellen is just such a different world... It was a huge honor to be on that stage with Ellen, but it wasn't as nice as I thought."