“Are you ever going to address the terrible way your staff is treated?” one user commented on the comedian’s Instagram post from Saturday, July 18, wishing actress Kristen Bell a happy birthday. “I expected more from you, address the issues,” another added. “Ellen show is a sham. All for the cameras. Behind the scenes is racism towards employees,” a third chimed in.
On Thursday, July 16, several former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show claimed “that ‘be kind’ bulls–t only happens when the cameras are on” in a scathing article slamming the show’s treatment toward their staffers.
“It’s all for show,” one former employee alleged to BuzzFeed News, stating there was frequent fear and racism on set. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
The many allegations included unjust firings and harsh mistreatment. Some alleged they were let go after taking medical leave or bereavement days. In other instances, employees were instructed not to talk to the host, 62, while walking around the office. Additionally, Black staff members recalled experiencing “microaggression” on a daily basis.
While the one current and 10 former employees who spoke with the outlet claimed executives and senior managers were to blame for the hostile work environment, one ex-staffer said Ellen is mainly at fault. “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,” that staffer said.
“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,” executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said in a joint statement to the outlet. “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.”
While Ellen has remained quiet following the allegations, her fans want to hear her truth.