Photo Credit: Brooks Kraft
The worlds most positive talk show host undergoes negative reviews. Ex-employees of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" breaks their silence about what really goes on behind the scenes, but is Ellen entirely to blame?
According to BuzzFeed more than 40 employees opened up during numerous interviews begging to remain anonymous saying how,"that 'be kind' bullsh- only happens when the cameras are on".
The award-winning daytime talk show is popular for giving back to the less fortunate and shining a light on talented people who go viral. For many writers and techs, joining the show was a dream come true, until employees met Ellen's team behind the camera.
Allegedly, since the start of the Ellen DeGeneres show back in 2013, ex-employees have faced, "racism, fear, intimidation...day to day toxicity from executive producers." ending in some even walking off the job, according to BuzzFeed.
Executive producer, Kevin Leman II asked a male ex-employee for "a hand job or to perform oral sex in a bathroom" back in 2013 during a company party. Then in 2017 another former employee saw Leman, "grope a production assistant in a car and kiss his neck", according to BuzzFeed. He even asked male employees if they were "a top or a bottom."
DJ Tony Okungbowa, The Ellen Show's former resident, speaks out on Instagram adding to the chorus of former employees speaking out about the show's toxic workplace environment.
"I would like to address the time I spent there," said Tony Okungbowa.
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A black female ex-employee also shared her experience as a staff member of The Ellen DeGeneres show. Allegedly, when she first attended a company party, a writer told her, "I'm sorry I only know the names of white people who work here." She later spoke to producers about it and they mocked her by giving her the nickname, "The PC Police and "Spirit Animal".
Furthermore, she suffered from pay discrimination after learning a new hire was paid more than she was. After confronting Executive Producer Ed Galvin his only concern was her "walking around looking resentful and angry." She then quit that very day.
Allegedly, Galvin was also known to be "handsy with women" and who showered in his office with the door open. Another ex-employee turned in their 2 weeks notice and Galvin reacted by screaming and flipping over a table and a chair. Another executive producer, Jonathan Norman tried to give an employee oral sex after taking him to numerous concerts and showing him favoritism over a long period of time.
Another ex-employee created a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical costs due to the lack of health insurance the company offered. Within 24 hours of his social media post the employee told BuzzFeed he was told to remove it because "it might hurt DeGeneres's image". Many influencers came to Ellen's defense like singer Katy Perry who always had positive takeaways from the show.
"I can't speak for anyone else's experience but my own.." said Katy Perry.
A report by Variety states that executive producer Ed Galvin is looking to resign. In addition to that, The Hollywood Reporter confirms that DeGeneres' talk show would undergo an internal investigation by WarnerMedia. Ellen responded to her staff by email to address all the allegations and concerns. She still stands on the promise she made on day one of her talk show.
"The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness".