As a born and raised conservative Christian, I have to admit Ellen DeGeneres has always been something of a contradiction for me. Beyond what some might call my better judgment, I really like her. I mean, she is regularly doing good for others, and let’s face it, she’s just plain hilarious.
Now, before you get on your high horse and tell me all the ways I am wrong about her, know that I still do have some reservations and that just because I think she is funny doesn’t mean I support all of her endeavors or ideals.
However, my momma raised me to not solely look at political shouting points and instead to look at the actions of a person. As I have already mentioned, Ellen seems to do a lot of good. On top of the joy she brings to any room, she is continually giving to others when they lack and putting on charitable activities for those less fortunate. Even her show’s catchphrase “be kind to one another” seems to be a bit of an embodiment into who she is at her very core.
But momma also taught me not to judge a book by its cover. And as we all know, celebrities have a nasty way of only showing what they want you to see and not the ugliness underneath.
As it turns out, Ellen might not be as good as she seems.
Earlier this month, reports started coming in from Buzzfeed that Ellen’s show has a rather discriminating work environment. Former employees have begun to come forward about what happens behind the closed doors of the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and it’s not all good.
At first, employees were simply complaining about being laid off and not being told about how their pay would work during the Coronavirus shut down in April, according to Variety. However, as more and more complaints came in, others of a more severe and frightening nature also came to light.
According to BuzzFeed, a total of 11 former employees have now come forward with allegations of racial discrimination, bullying, verbal abuse, and overall harsh work conditions, among other things.
As a result, a formal investigation into the show and production team has been launched by WarnerMedia and a third-party consultant.
Eric Schiffer, a Reputation Management Consultants chairman, told Fox News, allegations of this nature, as well as the investigation very well could be the end of the ‘Ellen Show.’
Schiffer noted while Ellen’s the on the air attitude, which exudes joy and kindness, she could very well be pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. And if so, “She could be perpetrating one of the biggest frauds in American celebrity history.”
He added, “There are now serious investigators looking into the allegations and if the finding are as damning as what has been reported then you could watch the ‘Ellen Show’ go boom.”
Now, it is noted that none of the allegations seem to be pointed directly at Ellen herself. Instead, it appears to be her production staff that is the main culprit.
However, as Schiffer and others note, she cannot afford to act as though she is not somehow responsible; after all, it is her name on the door.
Schiffer told Fox News, “I think Ellen has been arrogant in her entire approach in dealing with the allegations and it’s crazy for her not to accept responsibility for what is happening under her leadership. In Hollywood, the buck stops at the star’s name on the door, not at the producer level.” furthermore, he notes that it “would be impossible for her not to know what was happening within her own staff.”
According to BuzzFeed and the interviews with the ex-employees, work conditions have continuously not been good for much of the staff. However, when these conditions are reported, they are often ignored, or that employee is simply let go or their contract not renewed.
In addition, there are reports of verbal and racial abuse from several on the production team, as well as instances of bullying and intimidation.
Other former employees reported being forced to take down GoFundMe accounts on their behalf because it was believed those accounts if noticed by the public, would reflect poorly on Ellen’s public image. Most of these fundraising accounts were seeking funds for medical bills that their insurance would not cover.
Regardless of Ellen’s actual or implied knowledge of these allegations, this is no way to treat your staff. And ignoring them or acting as though there is nothing to worry about is wholly foolish of the talk show host. As Schiffer noted, if even one of these allegations is proved truthful, it could spell disaster for Ellen, especially considering the cancel culture in which we currently live in.
It looks like I should have stuck with my gut on this one…