2020 seems to be the year where the facade of celebrity has begun to crumble, and one of the superstars being scrutinized is Ellen Degeneres. After years of fashioning a persona seemingly based upon “being kind,” fans are starting to question whether or not that supposed ethos was genuine.
The first controversy was a lack of communication between the leadership on The Ellen Show and the union crews when the show transitioned to quarantine mode. While the original crew was furloughed, non-union replacements were brought in to film at Ellen’s home.
Ellen also found herself in hot water when early in the pandemic, she said that quarantining in her multi-million dollar mansion was like “being in jail.”
“One thing that I’ve learned from being in quarantine is that people — this is like being in jail, is what it is. It’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days and everyone in here is gay.”
Add onto it a report from a former bodyguard that Ellen was cold and standoffish during a job, and the dancing host’s reputation took some real hits this year.
BuzzFeed News also posted a report that Ellen’s message of kindness masked a “toxic work environment.” A former employee said:
“They pull on people’s heartstrings; they do know that’s going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message, but that’s not always reality.”
In response to this bombshell report, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner released a statement saying:
“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.”
A former associate producer explained to the New York Post that Ellen isn’t necessarily malicious, but rather her privilege has made her unapproachable. They shared a memory when Ellen was demanding over the size of her iPhone text, so she took it straight to the top.
“She stopped everything and made a call. Next thing we know, we literally hear [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs pick up and say, ‘Hi, Ellen’ … Ellen told him the iPhone should have a bigger font. That’s her. It’s not that she’s some demon. She just lives in an incredibly privileged bubble and is out of touch with the real world.”
So, is Ellen’s demand to not look her in the eye just a quirk of the ultra rich?