A number of employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have blasted it as a "toxic work environment".
One current and 10 former employees of the daytime chat show, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, have accused the three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of "bullying".
A source told Buzzfeed News: "The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean. They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there: 'So if you have a problem, you should leave because we'll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'"
Although DeGeneres, 62, has not been accused of any wrongdoing, employees have claimed they were instructed not to talk to her if they saw her in the building.
One former employee said: "If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what's going on. I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, 'Things are going great, everybody's happy,' and she just believes that, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that."
A Black woman claims she suffered a number of "microaggressions", her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of "walking around looking resentful and angry" after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee alleges they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
They said: "You'd think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don't want to add any more stress to their lives."
“Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s a stigma,” they added. “They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra."
In a statement to Buzzfeed News, executive producers Glavin, Connelly and Lassner said: "Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment. We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It's not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.
"For the record, the day to day responsibility of The Ellen Show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
This isn’t the first time The Ellen Show has been called out for mistreatng its staff. In April, more than 30 members of the core production crew were upset that the producers kept them in the dark about the status of their working hours and pay for over a month amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when the show was filmed remotely from DeGeneres’ California home.
When they finally heard back from the producers, the crew were told they would experience a 60 per cent pay cut. They were also upset that the producers hired an outside, non-union tech company over the regular crew during the remote phase.. — BANG