As of Monday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is officially the subject of an investigation by WarnerMedia. This all comes after several employees or former employees raised their concerns about the environment they worked in.
WarnerMedia's employee relations group and a third party firm will reportedly work together to investigate the situation about the work environment, as well as the behavior of host Ellen DeGeneres. Together, they're expecting to interview former and current members of the staff about their unique experiences on set and will be done in an environment in which employees can "flourish," according to a source who is familiar with the memo that was sent out to staffers. The show's producers also released a statement about the allegations being made, indicating that they 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," the statement continued. "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." Here's a look at a brief history of the allegations.
The Initial Problem
Things started to go south in back in April when the show had started taping in DeGeneres' home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Multiple sources told Variety that the main stage crew of over 30 employees had received no communication about working hours, inquiries or pay about physical and mental health from their bosses for more than a month. Some said that the high-ranking producers will "occasionally" answer phone calls, but none would go into any specific detail. Producers also hired a non-union tech company when the show shifted to a temporarily remote format.prevnext
'Teletubbies After Dark'
YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, also known as NikkieTutorials, also spoke out about her experience on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May. When she was a guest back in January, she said that she was expecting "a Disney show" but ended up with "Teletubbies after dark."
"Call me naive, but I kind of expected to be welcomed with confetti cannons: 'Welcome to The Ellen DeGeneres Show!' But instead, I was greeted by an angry intern who was a bit overworked," de Jager told &C.prevnext
While not directly related to the show, a former bodyguard who'd previously been hired to protect DeGeneres back in 2014 during her gig hosting the Oscars revealed to Fox News that she acted "cold," and that her sunny demeanor is just an act. Back in May, Tom Majercak claimed that DeGeneres was one of the few celebrities who did not speak to him at all when he worked with them.
"I'm holding their hands and walking them through individuals and large groups of people," Majercak said at the time. "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."prevnext
Following Majercak's accusations, DeGeneres reportedly did not take the news well. "Ellen is at the end of her rope," a source told Us Weekly. "She thought this was all just sour grapes from a few haters. But it's not a passing thing — the hit just keep coming."prevnext
Fast-forward to July 16, when Buzzfeed reported on the show's toxic work environment after speaking with one current and 10 former employees spoke out. While several did so on the condition of anonymity, the all revealed the eponymous talk show host isn't as cheery or kind as she comes off on camera.prevnext
Following the Buzzfeed bombshell, scores of other DeGeneres employees, both current and former, were praising those who spoke out against the work environment. "They've been calling and texting each other about the story," an insider 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 accusations were apparently credible enough that WarnerMedia has elected to investigate the matter further. It's unclear what could happen next, though it almost certainly will involve what's uncovered.prev