It’s not been a good year for Ellen Degeneres. Soon after the nation went on lockdown, horror stories about her that had long been an open secret began trickling out into the public, secrets that Degeneres has hidden behind her weaponized niceness for decades. That was in March. Since then, we’ve seen more evidence that she is the worst amid reports that Ellen has been shitty to her staff during lockdown. Ellen has been super sad that everyone thinks she’s mean, but in the meantime, investigations have been opened up against her show for a toxic workplace culture that includes racism, intimidation, and a hostile workplace environment.
Yesterday, Ellen Degeneres “apologized” and ousted executive producer Ed Glavin, whose name popped up in several accounts of workplace hostilities. Degeneres claimed that the culture that had arisen on her show does not reflect the values in which she started the program 17 years ago. In her apology to staff, Degeneres took responsibility, but suggested that the toxic culture behind-the-scenes came as a result of the show being too big for her to effectively oversee. In other words, it was the fault of others, and Ellen has just been too busy being nice to pay attention. From Variety:
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” DeGeneres wrote.
“I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros., we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again,” she continued.
One person — among many — who isn’t buying it is Brad Garrett, the Single Parents (RIP) star who suggested that the toxic culture came from the top, i.e., Ellen damn Degeneres.
Garrett — who appeared in her show several times between 2004 and 2007, but has not since — is one of the few celebrities who have spoken out about Degeneres’ behavior. Garret also worked with Degeneres on Finding Nemo, although there’s no indication they spent any significant time together. Interestingly, a number of other celebrities who are closely associated with her — Dax and Kristen, ahem — have remained mum. However, at least two unnamed guests on the show have indicated that producers insisted that they compliment and flatter Ellen on the air, which sounds about right.