A guest who appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ chat show has claimed that people are warned not to be funnier than the host.
Dimatteo was eventually selected to participate in the “Make It Rain” segment, which sees contestants drenched in water while attempting to win a cash prize.
In the recording, DeGeneres and Dimatteo smile along as the cameras continue rolling. However, the guest claims that this is all for show.
“During commercial breaks, Ellen would break out of her ‘kind’ character and sit moodily in silence on her couch, not acknowledging anyone,” the guest told The Sun Online.
“She didn’t say one word to the audience unless the cameras were on – she snapped out of her character the second the cameras stopped rolling.”
According to Dimatteo, producers told audience members that if they were selected to participate, they “were not allowed to be funnier or smarter than Ellen” as ”she is the star and the comedian – not us”.
Dimatteo, who said that she “didn’t enjoy” her experience, is the latest person to criticise the long-running talk show.
The series is also undergoing an internal investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct on the show’s set, as well as workplace bullying.
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While DeGeneres, 62, herself has not been personally accused of mistreating staff, she said in a statement that, as the face of the show, she took “full responsibility” for the situation.
DeGeneres issued an apology to former staff members after an investigation by WarnerMedia found “deficiencies in day-to-day management” on the set of her popular chat show.
The investigation was sparked after a number of ex-staff members shared anonymous accounts of their negative experiences working on the series.
DeGeneres herself is at the centre of numerous “mean” accusations. One such claim came from Back to the Future star Lea Thompson, who claimed that the host’s “horrible” behaviour is “common knowledge” in Hollywood.
The Independent has contacted a representative for The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
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