Her “Be Kind” messaging coupled with random acts of kindness broadcast on the show made her one of the most likable hosts on television, suddenly, all that was in question. Here’s everything that went down and all the folks who got involved.
All Shunned ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’
Ellen DeGeneres attempted to address the problem. But at that point, the media sphere was already in a spin cycle against her with former celebrity guests and employees turning on her publicly.
Ratings dropped 37% and staffers were having trouble booking talent. The talk show was losing advertisers and publicists and clients were refusing to be booked.
According to “PageSix,” one publicist said he would not book his client on Ellen’s show out of fear of negative headlines.
The scandal was wreaking havoc on her, but for many was a saving grace as it shed a light on some serious issues that took place behind the scenes, Let’s take a peek into what happened to Ellen’s kind lady persona, from the perspective of everyone involved.
Ellen DeGeneres is the Angel of Kindness
The fan club adores her. For over a decade, A-listers have stood in line to land a guest spot and get some of Ellen’s trademark kindness rubbed off on them.
The show has close to 80 million Twitter followers. “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” YouTube channel is ranked in the top 50 worldwide for subscribers.
Ellen DeGeneres is Cruella de Vil
When the allegations against the show were published all over the Internet, people were shocked, angry, and confused. How could the kindness guru head a production be riddled with misconduct? It didn’t seem possible. The bulk of the chatter around Ellen and her show was generated on Twitter.
Talk show stalwart Jay Leno had her back, but not all celebrities had nice things to say. Andy Richter, another late-night staple we know as Conan O’Brien’s sidekick, did not take Leno’s side.
Jay Leno Tweets Some Love to Ellen
DeGeneres’ “be kind lady” public image was strung up like a piñata and a lot of people took a swing. Jay Leno was one person who gave her a hug instead. Referring to the scandal that blew up around “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Leno wrote, “I don’t discard a 40-year friendship on hearsay.”
He went on to show support writing, “The Ellen I know has raised over $125 million dollars for charity and has always been a kind and decent person.”
Andy Richter Distanced Himself from Ellen
While Leno was clearly backing Ellen, running to her side because she was in a lot of hot water, Andy Richter showed up on Twitter to question that kind of support. It was Ashley Black to who he responded.
She claimed that an unhealthy workplace is the norm and blamed higher-ups for looking away if shows are produced timely and under budget. Richter replied to her tweet with this zinger.
Brad Garrett is Sorry, Not Sorry
Social media entrepreneur Ashley Black said, referring to the allegations against “The Ellen Show,” that a toxic workplace in media is normal, but Brad Garrett from “Everybody Loves Raymond” categorically refuted that stance. The comedian who had guested “Ellen” six times as well as co-starred on “Finding Nemo” tweeted, “Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow.”
He said it was “common knowledge.” He also made the point that there was more than one person that he knew personally that was treated badly by the host.
Lea Thompson Tweeted the Same Tune
Once Garrett came out to set things straight, actress Lea Thompson confirmed his claim. It was “People” magazine that published an article and a tweet about Garrett’s commentary confirming that workplace troubles come from the top.
Thompson then replied to that tweet. The “Back to the Future” star retweeted “People” magazine’s headline which read, “Brad Garrett Claims Mistreatment by Ellen DeGeneres is ‘Common Knowledge’ After Host’s Apology.” She wrote, “True story. It is.” That was on July 31, at the epicenter of Ellen’s PR disaster.
‘BuzzFeed News’ Unleashed the Details
Largely because of an investigative report by BuzzFeed, many unsavory came to light on Twitter. This is what brought celebrities to the platform to speak up, either for or against.
The “Buzzfeed” story said current and former workers experienced a work environment that did not seem to match the general tone of the show.
BuzzFeed Talked to ‘Ellen Show’ Employees
There was one current and 10 former employees who agreed to give “BuzzFeed” statements. Employees were hesitant to reveal their experiences at first.
But after the journalists went deeper, workers started speaking up. One was reported to say “Be kind to the world, not your employees.”
What Else Did They Say?
Another staffer commented “that ‘be kind’ stuff only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show.”The complaints were what prompted WarnerMedia to do an internal investigation which ultimately took down three top producers.
Some former employees talked about being fired after taking time off for traumatic experiences and even some experienced cultural intolerance.
Tony Okungbowa Posted a Statement
As a DJ for Ellen’s show between the years of 2003 and 2013, Tony Okungbowa decided to share his experience working on set after folks urged him to talk about it. He posted on Instagram that he was grateful for the opportunity to provide talent for the show. However, he also said that he “did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment.”
He also added words of solidarity saying he stands with his former colleagues and for their goal of creating a more inclusive workplace.
DJ Stephen “Twitch” Boss Spins Love
Following DJ Okungbowa’s tenure, DJ Stephen “Twitch” Boss provided musical talent for the talk show. He has been a house DJ since 2014. As an employee, he said he can’t talk about too much, legally. Saying, “Obviously there are some things to address,” the overriding message of his response to the allegations of the investigation was that he has experienced a lot of love working on the set.
He said there has been love and that it will continue to be like that. His affection went a long way. After the toxic workplace investigation closed, Ellen promoted him to co-executive producer. Sadly, he died in 2022, at the age of 40.
It’s Common Knowledge, So Why So Much Silence?
As DJ Twitch made clear, there are legal reasons for not speaking out. Nondisclosure agreements are required by production companies and these contracts include specific terms like not talking to the media about the workplace environment. So, in the end, the toxic culture backstage was going on for a long time because of those contracts.
BuzzFeed editor Krystie Yandoli noted this saying, “The biggest common thread that everyone told me is that what goes on behind the scenes is a far cry from what the show represents …”
Hedda Muskat: ‘Ellen’s apology is 16 years too late’
Producer Hedda Muskat, who was there for the first episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2003, confirmed “BuzzFeed’s” findings. She said everything she read is true. She also said that it got worse after executive producer Ed Glavin came aboard in 2006.
But she also said that the “toxic environment” was there from the start. “So,” she said, “It’s pretty shocking [for Ellen] to come out 16 years later and say that she wasn’t aware of it.”
Muskat Knew from the Start it Would be an Antagonistic Workplace
They were told upfront not to talk to Ellen and not to approach her. Hedda Muskat said pitching a story was traumatic. Ellen intimidated her with snide remarks and insults—nothing like the be kind lady. Muskat characterized the host as “two Ellens,” the awesome lady on TV and the other one.
She said Ed Glavin generated fear by yelling at writers as a group and individually and Ellen knew it happened, she watched. Ellen would look on, amused, as Glavin verbally abused staff members. Once, she chuckled at his behavior saying, “Every production needs their dog.”
The Warner Bros. Internal Investigation
In July of 2020, WarnerMedia sent a notice to staffers saying a third-party investigation will be going into effect in response to the “BuzzFeed” investigation. Initially, before the third-party investigation went into place, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” executive producers Andy Lassner, Mary Connelly, and Ed Glavin co-authored a response to “BuzzFeed.”
They gave the following statement: “We are truly heartbroken to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.” The statement included words about how it is not who they are and strive to be. Let’s see what happened to Glavin.
The joint investigation by WarnerMedia and the local TV station, conducted by a third-party agency released its conclusion in the middle of August. The shakeup brought down three members of its senior production team. Confirming troubling, the report called for the dismissal of executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman as well as co-executive producer Jonathan Norman.
As the news went out to 200 staffers via videoconference, DeGeneres tearfully announced the report’s findings. She admitted she was not perfect and said it was “heartbreaking” reading the report.
They Led with Fear and Intimidation
The three executive producers who were let go faced serious misconduct claims. In talking with 47 former “Ellen” employees, “BuzzFeed” found rampant instances. One younger former employee said that the abusive behavior was basically shaping the careers of recent college graduates like himself in a bad way. Unfortunately, the younger ones were more frequently targeted. Glavin tallied up the most complaints.
He was described as being “handsy” with lots of “creepy touching.” Glavin, characterized as exuding a “creep factor,” didn’t respond to the grievances. Kevin Leman, who garnered several graphic misconduct complaints, too explicit to quote here, categorically denied all impropriety.
Portia de Rossi Showed Support for Ellen
Portia de Rossi, Ellen’s wife, who is a model and an actress, went to Instagram when “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was in hot water. She backed her wife with a bold statement. In large white text with a baby blue background, Portia wrote “I Stand By Ellen,” and added, “Be Kind to One Another” in the corner.
She made the announcement on August 4th, as aftershocks continued to rattle Ellen’s world. Calls for cancelation put the future of the show in question.
Kris Jenner Showed Support
Portia made her appeal on Instagram because she was “appalled by the allegations” and she hoped others would follow suit for her wife’s cause. Kris Jenner was one of the first to raise her hand for Ellen.
She “liked” de Rossi’s post. One little click can be influential. Jenner’s support goes back a long way. She attended the 2018 launch party for Portia’s art company General Public.
Ellen’s Stupendous Career
Ellen got her break as a stand-up comic on “The Tonight Show” during late-night great Johnny Carson’s run. Scraping her way to the top as a struggling comedian, she was named Showtime’s funniest person in America in 1984. She starred in two TV sitcoms, “Ellen” and “The Ellen Show” in the late 90s and early 00s.
She has won 30 Emmys and 20 People’s Choice Awards, making her the top recipient of the latter. She won the Carol Burnett Award at the Golden Globes. DeGeneres has hosted the Golden Globes, the Primetime Emmys, and the Oscars.
screengrab A major draw to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is its giveaways. If you haven’t heard of Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways during the holidays, you may be impervious to glitzy corporate marketing. But she gives stuff away all the time. Once, she showered the audience with California’s Mega Millions lottery tickets.
The jackpot at the time was $1.6 billion. “With a b,” she clarified. The show plans elaborate events doing kind things for random people. For her 60th birthday, DeGeneres gave out $1 million. It was split amongst an invited audience of people who did “acts of good” in the world.
The 14-Day Blackout
It started in March. But the two weeks ending on April 9, 2020, were the tipping point for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Those weeks, more than anything, triggered the July quakes that unearthed the problems. There was a 14-day blackout during which the entire staff of the program braced for the worst. The show was plucked from the air and questions about their employment future met dead air.
Finally, a month later, they learned that they faced a 60% pay cut and uncertain healthcare during a worldwide pandemic. Meanwhile, the show run by Telepictures continued to air and collect revenue.
Employees Found Out ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ went Remote After it Happened
On April 7, DeGeneres aired the show from her home. Stage crews found out about the new production site via the Internet by social media posts. Even more enraging, they learned that a nonunion tech media company would assist with remote production. Some employees could have done that work.
Many of the crew had been with the show since its inception 17 years before. It was a tense time. Meanwhile, other talk show hosts were paying their staff out-of-pocket.
No One Felt Sorry for Ellen
DeGeneres’ original content was taking a hit too. Jokes she had written herself tanked embarrassingly. Most notable is when she complained of being in prison, albeit broadcasting from her California mansion. She said, “One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people--this is like being in jail, is what it is.”
She sealed the punchline with your moment of cringe. It’s almost like prison because, “I’ve been wearing the same clothes for ten days and everyone in here is gay.” The laugh track was strikingly absent. It was the winter of DeGeneres’ publicity woes.
Some Thought the Be Kind Lady was Very Mean
Comedian Kevin T. Porter decided to make this point on March 20, at the beginning of the blackout. His tweet began by saying we all need kindness, like Ellen always says. But then he said she is one of “the meanest people alive.”
His antipathy toward the kindness queen was triggered following a photo on Twitter depicting herself hanging out with George W. Bush at a football game. So, he offered to donate $2 to the LA Food Bank to match each response to his tweet about the most “insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean.” The comedy writer hit a nerve.
The Tweets Came Fast and Furious
Porter received 2,000 stories of DeGeneres’ cruelty. However, many were made in fun while others complained about his motives. In the end, he donated $600 dollars to the food bank, matching the seemingly true stories. There were several people who talked about Ellen never greeting, smiling, or even looking at them as employees, even once.
Another wrote in saying she was instructed not to look at the host in the eye, and never say hi to her first. Another said Ellen has a sensitive nose so you must chew a piece of gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her.
Ex Ellen Fans Tweet Replies
At least two stories came from fans who sent something in. One tweet talked about how she had sent a letter to Ellen, about 15 years ago, and the host mockingly read it on the air. The girl said she was completely humiliated and hasn’t been an Ellen fan since. Another tweeted in to say she was just 15 when she made a handmade bust of Ellen and sent it in.
Tweeting, “Weeks later she used it as a prop in a game and gave it away to a random person with $500 attached to the bottom.”
Some Stories were Stranger than Others
Chris Farah, an actress and former waitress, said she was a huge Ellen fan. The fact that DeGeneres was one of the first-ever celebrities who came out as gay made Farah admire the comedian. She liked her a lot. But one day, she was serving Ellen and Portia’s table and the be kind lady had a problem with her chipped nail polish.
She said Ellen went through the trouble of penning a letter to her boss to complain. Farah wrote, “I had worked till closing the night before & this was next morn, almost got me fired.” She used the tale in a comedy routine too.
The Time Ellen Called Steve Jobs about the Font on the iPhone
This story comes from a former associate producer for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The unnamed colleague said Ellen had misplaced her glasses. She couldn’t read the text on her phone, so she dialed up the CEO and creator of iPhone, Steve Jobs. The producer heard Jobs answer the call and say, “Hi Ellen.”
She told him she thought the iPhone should have a larger font. The producer said, “That’s her.” She’s not bad or terrible, it’s just that she lives in an “incredibly privileged bubble and is out of touch with the real world.”
The Humorous Tweets
In the litany of replies to Kevin T. Porter, some people popped in to make fun of it all. “You are destroying someone to raise a peanut for a food bank,” slammed one tweet. Yes, Porter thought it would be ironic to make a charitable donation out of her meanness and that’s mean.
Another person took it to the limit with a tweet about Ellen hurting the feelings of a Wish Kid. Finally, this tweet hit this sort of sarcasm right between the eyes, “Ellen hides in parking lots under cars at night and slashes people’s Achilles tendons as they walk past.”
The George W. Bush Thing
This event, back in 2019, likely exacerbated rumors of DeGeneres’ behind-the-scenes unkind behavior. Given Bush's history, many fans felt uncomfortable seeing the bubbly talk show host enjoying a game with him.
The scene, though seemingly innocent caused a big rift among audiences, splitting the fanbase right down the middle overheated political opinions.
Ellen Harnessed the Moment to Talk about Kindness on Her Show
Predictably, Twitter lit up with tweets of shock and awe once the image of the two sitting together was circulated. Ellen announced on her show, “I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.” Our kindness 101 professors then drilled the lesson home, “But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.”
Finally, “When I say, ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
The Time Susan Sarandon Snapped Back
Susan Sarandon was not really having it when the George W. Bush and Ellen chill-out happened. The A-lister had been around long enough to remember Iraq I and II and so she went to Twitter to respond. Captioning an image of Ellen touting a supportive fan’s tweet, Sarandon argued that the talk show host missed the point completely.
“DeGeneres framed the issue as simply a matter of her hanging out with someone with different opinions, not a man repeatedly accused of being a war criminal.”
Dakota Johnson Dishes the Truth
Dakota Johnson joined “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for the second time. Kicking off the conversation, Ellen complained that she was not invited to the A-lister’s birthday bash. Smiling kindly but speaking firmly, Dakota said, “Actually, no, that’s not the truth, Ellen. You were invited.” Ellen disagreed and pressed the “Fifty Shades” actress. Finally, an “Ellen” producer admitted Ellen had been invited. Turns out, Ellen had been at a certain Cowboy’s football game.
The interview was TV gold. Later, when Dakota visited Drew Barrymore’s show, Drew applauded Dakota’s poise in Ellen’s hotseat saying, “That was amazing, by the way, like amazing.”
Taylor Swift Stomached the Cringiest Interview
After many years of celebrity friendship, Taylor Swift endured one of the show’s most awkward interrogations. Previously, Swift frequently made appearances. And once, Ellen, who frolicked in emulating the country singer, took it to the limit. Dressing up like the pop star, Ellen crashed a Taylor Swift concert, dancing onstage.
It was all fun and games until Ellen took it too far. DeGeneres interviewed Swift and pressed her about former boyfriends. DeGeneres gave the singer a bell to ring if she had dated a man Ellen questioned her about. Long story short, Swift is sobbing and begging for Ellen to stop.
The Taylor Swift Interview Still Makes the Internet Click
Taylor Swift fans were devastated. They could not understand why a TV host would take things so far. The 2013 visit inspired a TikTok clip called “Someone Who Deserves an Apology: Talk Show Edition.” During the interview, the country popstar got so flustered she begged, “Stop it, stop it, stop.” It’s difficult to watch. Ellen does not relent.
Taylor cries, “It makes me feel so bad about myself every time I come up here you put like a different dude up there on the screen, and it just makes me really question what I stand for as a human being.”
Ellen Shamed Justin Bieber Just as Relentlessly
In all likelihood, Justin Bieber fans no longer subscribe to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” YouTube channel. For years, Ellen and Bieber portrayed a feisty TV friendship, but she took it too far in 2015. In the middle of an average interview, Ellen plastered a partially blurred nude paparazzi photo of Bieber on vacay in Bora Bora.
Leaving the humiliating image on the Megatron, she interrogated him with questions about a woman pictured there until he whispered, “Stop.” Pleading, “Why are you putting me on the spot like this? Gosh,” he just sat there with his face in his hands. So much cringe.
SuperM Talked Back to Ellen
Mark from the Korean boy band SuperM has the unique distinction of telling Ellen to zip it when it comes to young celebrity’ love lives. Appearing in 2019, the bandmates could barely be heard over The Beatles-grade squeals from the audience, and they thrilled them, performing two songs.
The boys presented Ellen with a $50,000 donation to the Ellen Fund philanthropy. Just before the check was presented to her, she said she needed to know if they’re all single. Piping up right away, Mark asked, “Why are you always curious about this though?” She told him, “It’s my job.”
The Internet Thanked SuperM for Putting Ellen on the Spot
SuperM’s Ellen visit was their world television debut. Compared with western pop stars, K-pop teen idols are not accustomed to sharing their private lives. So, when Mark stood up for the band’s right to keep private, K-pop fans were impressed.
Lots of fans praised his comment. Later, when Ellen’s publicity disaster was in high gear, the tweet from that interview popped up again.
Celine Dion Gives Ellen the Business
Celine Dion is one of the most successful musical artists in the world. With a $460 million net worth, the spellbinding crooner from Canada filled stadiums and Las Vegas showrooms for years. Ellen is a close match with a $330 million net worth, and a $50 million annual contract for her show. But when Celine Dion visited Ellen’s show, she seemed like she did not know what to do. Ellen was heckling her to give her son a haircut. The awkward interview happened all the way back in 2007, but it’s stayed alive online. Maybe because Dion said, basically, butt out.
Ellen Made Mariah Carey ‘Extremely Uncomfortable’
When Mariah Carey visited “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in 2008 pregnancy rumors were flying. Ellen tried to pin the pop star down. When Carey said she wouldn’t divulge personal information, Ellen brought out some champagne as a test and said, “Let’s toast to you not being pregnant.”
Carey maintained her composure laughing along at Ellen’s persistence, asking why she would even do that. It was awkward. Ellen appeared to be pushing her into drinking the champagne while Carey laughed, accusing her of “peer pressure.” Spoiler: the pop legend was pregnant.
It’s So Sad in Retrospect
Mariah lost that pregnancy a few weeks following the cringey interview with Ellen. In fact, the reason the pop queen was not comfortable sharing was because she had previously experienced a miscarriage. This came up in a “Vulture” interview during the dark days of Ellen’s publicity troubles.
Mariah said, “I don’t want to throw anyone that’s already being thrown under any proverbial bus, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.” She also said, “And I really have had a hard time grappling with the aftermath.”
Makeup Influencer Nikki de Jager Talks to Ellen about Coming Out Experience
Nikki de Jager feared coming out transgender. When she was blackmailed by someone threatening to out her, she made the announcement, terrified of the outcome. The opposite happened. She published her statement on her NikkiTutorials YouTube channel and gained worldwide support. The sit-down interview was classic Ellen, closing with a $10K donation to LGBTQ cause.
However, when the social media influencer went back to the Netherlands, she spoke about being treated coldly. In a Dutch interview, she said it was a “huge honor,” but the set at “Ellen” seemed like a “whole different world” from the kindness mantras.
Ellen Came Out to the Television World on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’
But first she showed up on the cover of “Time” magazine perched with the headline: “Yep, I’m Gay.” A week later, Ellen’s character, Ellen, on her ABC TV sitcom also came out as gay, making her the first openly gay primetime lead character.
It was 1997. Recently, in 2017, Oprah and Ellen sat down to reminisce the 20th anniversary of her coming out. Oprah recalled the deluge of hate mail. Times have changed in 20 years, Oprah mused, telling Ellen, “You were the bravest woman ever.” Reactions were unbelievable. Anti-gay rights Americans were up in arms. Her sitcom was canceled in 1998.
Oprah and Ellen are Besties
Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres are neighbors in an exclusive seaside area of Santa Barbara. And they have long been close friends. Once they appeared together on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” with Reese Witherspoon in a bit in which Ellen is jockeying to be Oprah’s best friend and Witherspoon claiming she was.
Oprah cleared it up saying Gayle King, as we all know, is her actual bestie.
Oprah Was on the Show When Ellen Announced it is Over
Oprah Winfrey joined the host on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to show support for Ellen’s decision to end the program. Season 19, she announced, would be the last. Ellen talked about the show not being enough of a challenge anymore.
Oprah supported the host by saying she is proud of her friend for trusting her instinct and standing firm with the announcement. And she was also very supportive when Ellen said she felt good about giving her staff and crew a year head’s up for the final episode.
The Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres Feud
We will never know the whole truth, but Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres have been mean to each other. Comedian Kathy Griffin appeared on Ellen’s show in 2007. Waiting backstage, Griffin listened to Ellen’s monologue and said it was about how mean she is.
Years later, Ellen was asked about the feud and said that Griffin is “very mean.” She claimed Griffin pouted about being banned from the show, and said she was never invited. Another feud blew up over the passing of Griffin’s close friend, legendary comedian Joan Rivers. Griffin said it hurt Rivers’ feelings that DeGeneres never liked her.
Michelle Obama Tolerates Ellen
This happened in 2016. Michelle Obama and DeGeneres showed up at a CVS Pharmacy and Ellen’s antics were driving the First Lady nuts. Upon arrival, the talks show host began ripping open product to see what is in it. Mrs. Obama, a little shocked, told her she couldn’t do that. At one point, Ellen took to a megaphone to announce they were looking for rash cream for the First Lady’s rash.
On the way out, totally exasperated with Ellen, she said, “You know, you’re really annoying.” And then added, “It’s like taking a three-year-old to the store!”
They’re Still Friends
Five years later, Michelle Obama laughingly brought up the stressful shopping trip when she called into the program to show love and support for Ellen in 2021, the time Oprah was there to show support too.
And, far from the First Lady genuinely being mad at Ellen’s CVS antics, the be-kind lady was invited to the White House barely a month after the CVS shopping trip. There, President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kevin Hart Posts a Photo with DeGeneres on Instagram
There’s been a lot of support since Ellen’s dark days of 2020. After a few of months of brutal media attention surrounding the toxic workplace, A-listers began popping up all over with words of support. Kevin Hart knows first-hand the wrath the media sphere inflicts, it turned on him once.
Speaking up for Ellen on Instagram, he posted a caption saying Ellen is one of the “dopest people” on the planet. He talked about her kindness and respectfulness. He also included a message saying he does not mean to “disregard the feelings of others and their experiences.”
Katy Perry is a Longtime Celebrity Friend
She’s been on Ellen’s show numerous times. But one time, Katy Perry was put in a pretty awkward position. Ellen claimed she could not recall the name the popstar’s famous ex. Katy said essentially, ‘you know it’s Russell Brand,’ who had actually been on Ellen’s show discussing the marriage previously. Nonetheless, Perry rushed to the talk show host’s side to tweet love and support.
In August of 2020, Katy Perry tweeted, in part, “I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen.” She finished with, “Sending you love & a hug, friend @TheEllenShow.”
Sofia Vergara was ‘always in on the joke’
DeGeneres and Sofia Vergara are two of the highest-paid television personalities. When the gorgeous “Modern Family” actress sat chatting with Ellen, the comedians ribbed each other mercilessly. In her endearing trademark accent, Vergara jibed Ellen for being old. Ellen shut the actress down with an “English word of the day” game. The word, “discombobulated,” stumbled clumsily off her tongue.
Vergara struggled to pronounce it several times. She was completely discombobulated, despite not knowing the meaning. She looked mortified. Yet, when push came to shove, Vergara tweeted, “Two comedians having fun.” That said, the clip she posted didn’t include the discombobulated bit.
Scooter Braun Backed DeGeneres
He’s a record exec who manages pop star clients such as Justin Bieber. During that August 2020 wave of support for Ellen, Scooter Braun chimed in, posting a beaming image of Ellen. Sending a message of love, he wrote that Ellen is “a kind, thoughtful courageous human being who stands for what is right and highlights on her show the best of us.”
He went on to thank her with other kind words. Responses to his post included accusations of rich privilege and other criticism. There was a huge reaction then, social media lit up on the toxic workplace issue.
Kelly Osbourne Thinks DeGeneres Deserves a Second Chance
On a podcast called, “Hollywood Raw,” aired during those contentious days of summer, Kelly Osbourne gave an interview saying that whatever happens, people should be given a second chance.
However, Kelly did admit to knowing what they’re talking about, saying that she walked the hallways of that show and been told certain things while there.
Steve Harvey Showers Love
One television personality who came out strongly for Ellen and her show is the television personality, Steve Harvey. He said Ellen is “one of the coolest and kindest people I’ve met in this business.” He said he’s known her since they both did stand-up at comedy clubs, just getting started.
He adamantly defended Ellen against any intolerance allegations after “Ellen Show” execs were fired for being culturally insensitive. He talked about supporting the troubled talk show host, advising her to “keep her head up.” He even suggested she walk away yet also predicted her comeback when she decided to stay.
Nacho Figueras Stood Up for DeGeneres Via Instagram
Ignacio Figueras, who goes by Nacho said he went to social media to say something about the crisis surrounding “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” because no one else was doing that.
Posting a cute photo of the two together, he said on August 2 that he had been patiently waiting for someone with “more authority that me to speak up about what a great human being @theellenshow is.” The Argentine athlete talked about the experience on the show categorizing it as a well-run machine with very nice people.
Octavio Spencer Posted Ellen’s High School Yearbook Photo
Seasoned actress Octavio Spencer, who has an Oscar, a SAG, and a Golden Globe under her belt, praised Ellen and showed support with an Instagram note. “The Help” actress said that her experience on the show was supportive and fun. She sent love to everyone at the entire show and to Ellen.
At the end of her note, she seemed to allude to complaints from folks like Nikki de Jager who talked about being treated coldly. Spencer signed off with, “And no, people are NOT always kind to talent!”
Diane Keaton Supports Ellen in ALL CAPS
If Instagram allowed bold, italic, and red font, she may have used those too.
In the midst of the daytime talk show scandal, Diane Keaton posted a photo of the two from a February visit to Ellen’s show and said, “I ALWAYS ENJOYED MY VISITS TO THE ELLEN SHOW. I’VE SEEN HOW THE AUDIENCE EXUDES HAPPINESS AND GRATITUDE. SHE GIVES BACK TO SO MANY INCLUDING ME.” Her post made the rounds on the social media platform on August 4.
“Keep going,” urged Alec Baldwin
Not too long before Baldwin had his own publicity disaster to deal with, he called in to the show. On September 23, he told her to keep doing it. He said she is “one of the funniest and most talented women […] in all of the show business,” and Ellen appreciated the support. Previously, he took to Twitter to support her, the day after Keaton. He tweeted, “@TheEllenShow has always been kind to me.”
He also acknowledged that in the entertainment business, people are sometimes overzealous. “Sometimes people can go too far in pursuit of a creative or commercial goal.”
Ashton Kutcher Weighs In
Ashton Kucher replied to a Follower who questioned his support of Ellen’s wife Portia showed her support on the 4th of August and stars followed suit. Ashton Kutcher did too. He said his experiences at the Ellen show were all respect and kindness, extending to his team and hers. One Kutcher follower posted a reply. Her tweet entreated the A-lister to think about other people besides celebs.
She said she totally gets it, celebrity friends showing support, “But… employees are complaining about their work experience there.” Adding, “No one knows what it’s like but them. It’s invalidating [their experience].” His response: “I understand.”
Samantha Ronson Gave “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” a Thumbs Up.
In a tweet on the third of August she wrote, “I’ve worked for @TheEllenShow as a dj, for her parties, for years and she has ALWAYS been respectful and kind to me.” She prefaced the tweet saying she was expressing an “unpopular opinion.”
She was not incorrect, as many tweeted in response to criticize the DJ’s statement. One person tweeted that Ellen only “shows kindness to those of a certain stature. Your name is known so of course, she was nice to you.”
Jerry O’Connell Reposted Portia’s Instagram Image The “Jerry McGuire”
The actor felt compelled to show support. He knew the post would attract a lot of negative comments, but he said, “I’m not gonna let Instagram comments and Twitter comments tell me who can and can’t be my friends.”
He said he just wanted to let Ellen and Portia know he loves them. Under the “I Stand By Ellen” image, he wrote, “Love Ellen and Portia. Always have. Always will.”
Howard Stern Gives Ellen Advice
Ellen DeGeneres and Howard Stern have been supportive of each other, on and off. Their celebrity friendship was all good in 2019 when Ellen’s show presided over Stern and his wife renewing their vows. Stern has been full of helpful ideas (not!).
First, he said she needed to be on the air kissing him so that people would forget all about that image of her hanging out with G.W. at the football stadium. So, she did. They kissed for a couple of seconds on her show.
Howard Stern Offers More Advice
When kissing Howard Stern did not solve all of Ellen’s PR issues, the radio personality had a new plan. During his weekly SiriusXM radio show, Stern advised Ellen to bust out of her kind lady routine completely. He said, “You know what I’d do if I was Ellen? I would change my whole image.”
He said, she should switch things up by getting in the faces of her guests and just be a mean son of a gun. Ellen did not take his advice this time.
Neil Breen ‘The Ellen Show’ Experience as "Bizarre"
Diving down under to Australia, we find radio personality and former television producer Neil Breen sharing his encounter with Ellen’s team. The then-executive director of Australia’s “Today” show worked with DeGeneres once. Her people told his no one on his production team may speak to Ellen.
Breen summarized, “So, you don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her.” He said, being forbidden to look at her was “bizarre.” He admitted not knowing if Ellen is nice, given the demands. But he did say, “the people who worked with her walked on eggshells the whole time.”
Ellen Looks the Criticism in the Eye
Once rumors of such bizarre behavior began taking on a life of their own, Ellen addressed it in a Zoom call with staff. It was the middle of August when she claimed she did not know how it started. She said it is not who she is. "Please talk to me."
Look me in the eye. It’s crazy, just not true,” the talk show host reiterated. Despite all the testaments and Neil Breen’s experience, Ellen dismissed it all and called the rumor “insane.”
Former Bodyguard for Ellen and Portia Opines
Tom Majercak, the bodyguard to the stars, talked to “Fox News” about the time in 2014 when he worked at the Oscars for Ellen. He said it was “kind of demeaning.” He complained that the talk show host is the only celebrity he had ever been assigned to who would not take the time to say hello to him.
He described Ellen as just giving him “a side glance out of her eye” and criticized her for not thanking him for protecting her mother, wife, and herself.
Dan Sheehan Outed
Ellen in 2019 One of the first showbiz folks to hold the be kind lady up to the light is comedy writer Dan Sheehan. His famous tweet addressed the open secret about Ellen on October 7, 2019.
The comedian quipped, “When you move to LA the first two things that happen are you get a parking ticket and someone who once worked for Ellen will tell you a story about how she’s a monster.”
Ryan Phillippe Tweeted a Cryptic Ellen Reference
“Cruel Intentions” actor Ryan Phillippe put his take on the toxic workplace scandal out there. He posed for a selfie in front of an “Ellen Show” billboard sign while out jogging one day in October 2020.
He captioned it with, NOT RYAN PHILLIPPE SLYLY DISSING ELLEN” and added to the photo, “And remember to be kind…. Wait.” All we know is that he hasn’t been on the show since 2011 and that Ellen is friends with his ex, Reese Witherspoon.
Calum Scott Spilled the Beans
Singer-songwriter Calum Scott is one of the first celebs to speak openly about an experience with the production crew behind Ellen. “The Britain’s Got Talent” breakout star said he was instructed not to look at Ellen directly the time he performed on her show in 2016.
As he was walking to the Ellen Show stage, the stage manager told him to remember “not to look Ellen in the eye—everything else is fine, but just don’t look her in the eye.” He had just finished telling the stage manager how lucky he felt to be on the show.
Has Ellen been subconsciously screeching to get out of the nice lady box? A year before sitting with George W. Bush, Ellen did a stand-up Netflix program called, “Relatable.” It came out in December 2018 and was taped in a Seattle performance hall. She opens with, “I’m, a good person.” And then admits she is human.
Musing about how it is great to be the “be kind” girl, she points out the downside. “I can never do anything unkind now. Ever.”
Only Take One Item
Many noteworthy cringeworthy moments occurred on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” but none were so squarely put on an audience member as this time. It all started as just another giveaway. Ellen is notoriously generous.
This time she set up some tables with free stuff like show branded items such as hats and bags and told her audience to go at it. Rule #1: Only take one item. What she did not tell them is the entire giveaway would be examined by Hollywood surveillance cameras, in color and hi-fi sound.
Proof of Ellen’s Mean Streak
Ellen’s crew set cameras up all over the areas with free stuff. Like vultures in a tree, the production team waited for the victim audience member who’d break the rule. This woman grabbed more than one item of free swag, breaking Ellen’s Rule #1. (It was for her sister, she said).
But, just as Ellen had set it up, the entrapped guest was forced to watch in front of the live audience, the viewing public, and time out of mind on YouTube, as Ellen played back her criminal act of taking two bits of “Ellen” swag instead of one.
Ellen Colored Liza Minnelli with Some Off-Humor Jokes
At the 2014 Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres presided as host. Not every joke is going to come off swimmingly, but her barbs at Hollywood legend Minnelli were kind of crass. Minnelli seemed to take it all in stride when Ellen targeted her in her opening monologue, referring to her as a Liza Minnelli impersonator. But then, worse, “sir.”
Minnelli felt Ellen went too far with the joke “one of the best Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve ever seen in my life.” Which would have been fine, but then Ellen said, “Good job, sir.”
The Duchess of Sussex Helps Ellen
In her first interview since Prince Harry and Duchess sat down with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan Markle joined “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to perform a prank and do a sit-down interview. The Duchess says exactly what she hears Ellen say in her earpiece.
Markle had to do squats and repeat some unsavory remarks to people. She went along with it and it was cringy to say the least!
The Ellen DeGeneres Show Goes Full Circle
DeGeneres announced in May of 2021 that the fall season, Season 19, will be the final season, giving us hope that things will end positively.
We learned she is flawed, just like everyone else. Yet, the accusations are only terrible relative to that squeaky-clean image. Like she said, if you’re looking for a nickname, “Do not go with the ‘be kind’ lady. Don’t do it.”