Ellen DeGeneres’s former staff react to show’s end: ‘It’s about time’

Talk show host denied that series is finishing because of toxic workplace claims

Ellie Harrison
Friday 14 May 2021 08:17
Ellen DeGeneres addresses ‘toxic workplace’ allegations

Ellen DeGeneres’s former staffers have spoken out about the host’s talk show coming to an end, with one saying “it’s about time”.

It was revealed earlier this week that The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be finishing next year, after the conclusion of its 19th season.

The star has since claimed that media coverage of allegations of a toxic workplace behind the scenes of her talk show felt “too orchestrated” and “very misogynistic”, but denied that the decision to end her show was a result of the controversy.

Fox News has since spoken to three employees who worked on shows starring DeGeneres.

One former crew member employed by Disney in the Nineties who provided security for the studio where the sitcom Ellen was filmed said the show’s end had been “a long time coming”.

“When the Ellen sitcom ended, a lot of people on set were relieved. It caught me off guard when the talk show started,” he said. “I was like, ‘Isn’t anybody aware what’s going on that the staff at the Ellen show had seen?’ I thought, Why is this continuing?”

He added that DeGeneres failed to “acknowledge” many staffers: “She didn’t give a damn about anybody. It was all about her.” The staffer described DeGeneres as “not a very nice, cordial person” and “unpleasant”, saying her apology during her season 18 opener last September came “too late”.

“She didn’t get ahead of it,” he continued. “It wasn’t a heartfelt apology because she really did hurt a lot of people. For my taste, I think that at that point you’re in survival mode and I felt like that was where she was at. I don’t know why she didn’t address it sooner.”

Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston on the first episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Tom Majercak, the bodyguard whose job it was to protect DeGeneres when she hosted the 2014 Oscars, claimed to Fox News that she was “cold” to him and failed to say “hi”. He has spoken out before about DeGeneres’s conduct.

On her show ending, he said: “I’m not surprised. I hope that I was somewhat of a catalyst to giving others support to allow them to feel comfortable enough to step up and say, ‘You know what? I felt this too.’”

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He added: “It’s about time. With the cancel culture out there, people are getting cancelled for the silliest of things, but this person can manipulate people and treat people the way they want, day in and day out, because of their title or status.”

Majercak said some people “set their lives up around what she recommends” and he hopes they now realise there was “some not-so-honest persona taking place in front of our eyes”.

A third former staffer who worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show set for two years from 2016 said: “It was just not the greatest place to work. You always felt like there was something different when you walked on that set. Everyone was stressed. There was a toxic element, and it’s because people are so on edge, and it’s because of her.”

He claimed crew members “didn’t have the freedom to talk or be yourself because of whatever controlling issue she had”.

The source added that when he tried to speak to DeGeneres once on set, he was reprimanded. “I was told after that in no way, shape or form that I was supposed to speak to her directly,” he said.

He concluded: “Hopefully she sees the error of her ways and she’ll change her behaviour in the future and treat people normally, kindly and nice. Nobody likes to see a show end or their paycheck stop, but I’m sure a lot of people on that set are probably relieved that it’s over.”

The Independent has contacted DeGeneres’s representatives for comment.

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