- “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is under investigation after repeated reports of a toxic and hostile workplace on set.
- Former employees have said they experienced racism and other intimidation tactics while working for the daytime talk show. In one case, a former Black employee said she experienced regular microaggressions and was reprimanded for speaking about race and representation.
- Many have also said they had a hard time getting time off for deaths in the family or for medical emergencies.
- So far, no representatives for Warner Brothers or for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” have made statements about the investigation.
Allegations of Racism
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is being investigated after several former employees have claimed producers foster a toxic and demeaning work environment.
WarnerMedia will have a third party interview current and former staffers about their work experiences. Several recent reports have hurled scathing accusations against top producers on the show, while some have claimed the hostile workplace culture goes as high up as DeGeneres herself.
In July, BuzzFeed News reported that some current and former workers faced intimidation tactics and racism while on set. One former Black employee said she regularly faced microaggressions from her co-workers. In one instance, a senior-level producer told her and another Black employee, “Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused.”
She also claimed that a main writer once told her, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here.”
She was also allegedly called the “PC Police” for trying to bring up matters of race and discouraging people from using terms like “spirit animal.”
This same employee also claimed that an executive producer reprimanded her for bringing up issues about race and representation, and for asking about a raise because a newer person with the same job as her was making twice as much. After this, she never returned to set.
Struggles Getting Time Off
In other cases, employees had to struggle to get necessary time off. One employee had to request time off after getting in a car accident and having two family deaths within a year. They claimed that each request was a “battle with supervisors and HR.”
In another case, an employee took a month of medical leave to go to a mental health facility after a suicide attempt. When that employee returned to set, they learned their position was being eliminated.
“Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s a stigma,” they told BuzzFeed. “They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”
They were not the only one to call the show out for hypocrisy when it comes to DeGeneres’ daily preachings on kindness.
“That ‘be kind’ bullshit only happens when the cameras are on,” another source told BuzzFeed. “It’s all for show. I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Regarding the money and goods the show gives out, BuzzFeed also alleges that the employees who are more liked by producers and do not speak out or complain about work conditions have been given leftover swag like iPhones and JetBlue gift cards.
Top Producers Respond
“We have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment,” executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said in a statement. “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,” they added. “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.”
Despite their message, many claim that these three producers are directly responsible for the issues on set.
“People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that’s not the problem,” a former employee told BuzzFeed. “The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean.”
Still, some believe these issues ultimately fall on DeGeneres’ shoulders.
“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,” another former staffer told the outlet.
Poor Communication During Lockdowns
Before this, in April, Variety reported that staff of the show were upset because of poor communication regarding pay and schedules during the start of coronavirus lockdowns. The crew had received no written communication about their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their health over the span of a month. To make matters more frustrating, the show hired an outside crew to help DeGeneres film remotely from her home.
Eventually, the crew learned that they would be getting a 60% pay cut, even though the show was still airing.
So far, no spokespeople from Warner Brothers or “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” have made statements about the investigations.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (New York Times) (Los Angeles Times)
Chrissy Teigen Apologizes To Courtney Stodden Following Backlash Over Old Tweets
- In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Courtney Stodden, who gained tabloid attention a decade ago after marrying 51-year-old Doug Hutchison at the age of 16, said model Chrissy Teigen “would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself.”
- The direct messages have not been verified but Internet users dug up old tweets Teigen posted telling Stodden to take a “dirt nap.”
- Many called Teigen out for harassing a then-teenager and telling them to die, especially since Teigen has been vocal about her own experiences with online hate, which prompted her to temporarily leave Twitter earlier this year.
- On Wednesday, Teigen apologized to Stodden and said she was “ashamed and completely embarrassed” by her past remarks.
Courtney Stodden Speaks Out
Model and television personality Chrissy Teigen apologized on Wednesday for old comments she allegedly made 10 years ago, encouraging then-teenager Courtney Stodden to kill themself.
In a profile by The Daily Beast, Stodden (who uses they/them pronouns) accused Teigen of sending them messages encouraging suicide.
“She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself,” Stoddon told The Daily Beast, referring to Teigen. “Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.’”
Teigen became a trending topic on Tuesday as people began sharing the article. Now, she is finally addressing the controversy.
“Not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bullshit in front of the entire world,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be. I was an insecure, attention seeking troll. I am ashamed and completely embarrassed at my behavior but that is nothing compared to how I made Courtney feel.”
Stodden made headlines in 2011 after marrying 51-year-old Doug Hutchison at the age of 16. The couple has since divorced, but at the time of their marriage, their relationship was the subject of incessant tabloid coverage. Rather than show concern for Stodden’s situation as a victim of grooming, the media and public shamed and ridiculed them relentlessly.
Teigen was one of many stars that Stodden said used to mock them. Stodden told The Daily Beast that “The View “co-host Joy Behar referred to them as a “slut” and musician Courtney Love called them a “whore.” They also claimed that of all the celebrities to use such harsh language, the only one to apologize since is Perez Hilton.
Chrissy Teigen Faces Backlash
While the direct messages Teigen allegedly sent have not been verified, several Twitter users recovered and shared old tweets Teigen posted at the height of Stodden’s fame. In one, Teigen says her “fantasy” would be for Stodden to take “a dirt nap.” In another, she told Stodden to “go to sleep forever.”
Many called the star out for bullying a 16-year-old.
“Chrissy Teigen tried to bully a 16yo abuse victim into suicide?” one person wrote. “This is so much more than ‘oh she’s annoying on twitter’ she’s a fucking monster.”
Some claimed that her tweets should be considered a violation of Twitter’s terms of service. Others noted that earlier this year, Teigen temporarily left Twitter, citing copious amounts of online hate. Some found it hypocritical that she previously incited that same hate, then left the platform when it was being directed towards her.
“I’m so sorry, Courtney. I hope you can heal now knowing how deeply sorry I am,” Teigen continued on Wednesday, adding that she wants to constantly work to be a better person.
See what others are saying: (BuzzFeed News) (The Daily Beast) (A.V. Club)
Ellen DeGeneres Announces End of Her Daytime Talk Show
- In a Hollywood Reporter interview published Wednesday, Ellen DeGeneres revealed that she is ending her talk show after its upcoming 19th season.
- Many believe the decision came in response to toxic workplace allegations the host and her show faced last summer, but DeGeneres said the plans were in motion far before that because the show is no longer challenging enough for her.
- Staffers were notified of the decision Tuesday and DeGeneres will discuss the news on Wednesday’s episode of her show with Oprah Winfrey, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Ellen DeGeneres Show To End With Season 19
Ellen DeGeneres is officially pulling the plug on her daytime talk show.
In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the comedian and host announced that her upcoming 19th season will be her last. She informed staff of the decision Tuesday and will discuss the news on Wednesday’s episode of her show with Oprah Winfrey.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged – and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore,” DeGeneres said when explaining the reasoning behind her choice to end the show.
People on social media have, of course, taken issue with that statement. Many noted that the decision comes now that DeGeneres has fallen out of much of the public’s favor.
Last summer, several people made claims about DeGeneres’ alleged cold or rude demeanor as others began criticizing her old interviews. Buzzfeed then published a report with allegations of a toxic workplace culture, which included sexual harassment, racism, and intimidation claims, among other things.
Plans Were in Motion for Some Time, DeGeneres Said
Still, DeGeneres said ending the show now was always the plan. She actually said she wanted to stop after Season 16, and her wife Portia de Rossi had also been urging her to move on.
Executives behind the show, however, pushed for four additional year and they ultimately settled on three, with DeGeneres knowing that season 19 would be her last.
In the article, she specifically addresses the summer allegations saying, “It almost impacted the show. It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season. So, it’s not why I’m stopping.
She also framed the claims about her character as “ridiculous,” saying they attacked everything she stands for and destroyed her.
As far as the toxic workplace allegations, DeGeneres said she learned of them through the press and didn’t want to believe them at first.
“So, there was an internal investigation, obviously, and we learned some things but this culture we’re living is [is one where] no one can make mistakes,” she added.
“And I don’t want to generalize because there are some bad people out there and those people shouldn’t work again but, in general, the culture today is one where you can’t learn and grow, which is, as human beings, what we’re here to do. And I can see people looking at that going, ‘You don’t care about what people [went through.]’ I care tremendously. It broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience.”
See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (CNN) (Fox News)
Seth Rogen Says He Has No Plans To Work With James Franco “Right Now” Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
- In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, actor Seth Rogen was asked about his relationship with longtime collaborator James Franco, who has been accused of misconduct and sexually exploitative behavior by multiple women.
- In response to claims that Rogen was Franco’s enabler, he said, “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment, and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that.
- He also expressed regret over a 2014 joke he made on “Saturday Night Live,” which many felt trivialized Franco’s inappropriate communication with a 17-year-old.
- “I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now,” he added.
Seth Rogen Addresses James Franco Controversies
Actor and comedian Seth Rogen was asked about his relationship with fellow film star James Franco in a new interview with Britain’s Sunday Times.
Franco and Rogen are friends and longtime collaborators who’ve done hit films together, including “Pineapple Express,” “The Disaster Artist,” “The Interview,” and “Sausage Party,” among others.
In 2014, Franco was exposed for trying to pick up a 17-year-old through Instagram direct messages. In 2018, five women publicly accused him of inappropriate and sexually exploitative behavior, which he denied. Two of those women, who were students at an acting school he ran, then filed a lawsuit against him and agreed to a settlement this year.
Throughout these controversies, Rogen has faced a ton of backlash for continuing to show Franco support.
Last month, actress Charlyne Yi took to Instagram to open up about her experience working on “The Disaster Artist,” accusing Franco of being a “predator” and Rogen of being his “enabler.”
When asked about that specific claim, Rogen said, “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment, and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that.”
No Current Plans To Work Together
Rogen also expressed regret over a 2014 joke he made on “Saturday Night Live,” which many felt trivialized Franco’s inappropriate communication with the 17-year-old.
“It was a terrible joke, honestly. And I also look back to that interview in 2018 where I comment that I would keep working with James, and the truth is that I have not and I do not plan to right now,” he continued.
When asked how Franco’s scandals have impacted their relationship, Rogen said, “I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”
Still, he noted that changes are “not as painful and difficult as it is for a lot of other people involved. I have no pity for myself in this situation.