Downcast Ellen DeGeneres steps out for a stroll with a pal in Santa Monica as TV exec reveals she will NOT quit her show, despite backlash over staff claims of a toxic work environment and rumors that James Corden could replace her in the time slot
- Ellen DeGeneres was photographed taking a walk with an unidentified friend on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica
- The stroll came as reports emerged she will not quit her daytime TV show amid a number of allegations
- She is scheduled to report for work this month for ‘Ellen’s Games of Games’ and the ‘Ellen Show’ is scheduled to premier September 9
- But TV host James Corden is reportedly being considered to replace Ellen in her popular timeslot
- Actors Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson have publicly claimed that Ellen treats other poorly
- Only celebrity manager Scooter Braun and radio host Kyle Sandilands have publicly defended Ellen
- Staff at the Ellen DeGeneres’ Show are reportedly ‘freaking’ out at the possibility of the show being cancelled or the host quitting
- Earlier this month, one current and 10 former employees at the Ellen DeGeneres Show revealed there is a toxic work environment fostered at the show
- Former staffers have accused Ellen of ‘turning a blind eye’ to rampant sexual misconduct by senior-level producers on her hit daytime TV talk show
- DailyMail.com, previously revealed that the host is telling executives at Telepictures and Warner Bros that she has wanted to leave the show
A downcast Ellen DeGeneres stepped out for a walk with a friend as a top TV exec claimed she would not be quitting her eponymous TV show despite a slew of recent allegations regarding a toxic work environment riddled with sexual misconduct.
Ellen was photographed taking a stroll with the unidentified pal on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica.
The longtime talk show host was dressed down in a plain white tee and running shorts topped off with a baseball cap and sunglasses as she sought to keep a low profile amid rampant speculation about the future of her career.
The speculation arose after one current and 10 former employees alleged the overt positivity of The Ellen DeGeneres Show was underscored by bullying and racism.
A separate batch of allegations last week involved dozens of former employees who launched sexual misconduct accusations at three show producers, which Ellen allegedly ‘turn[ed] a blind eye’ to.
Sources previously told DailyMail.com that Ellen, faced with a mounting tide of negative press and few defenders, was considering quitting the TV series amid a investigation by WarnerMedia.
Actors Brad Garrett and Leah Thompson further fueled the flames against Ellen by revealing it was ‘common knowledge’ that the TV host had a reported mean streak.
But as Ellen’s daytime TV empire continued to crumble, insiders at NBC Network have said James Corden could take over her coveted time slot.
A downcast Ellen DeGeneres stepped out for a walk with a friend on Saturday afternoon as it was revealed she will not be quitting her eponymous TV show despite a slew of recent allegations regarding a toxic work environment riddled with sexual misconduct
The longtime talk show sought to avoid attention as she stepped out in Santa Monica in simple workout attire, a baseball cap and sunglasses – paired with a pained expression
It’s possible Ellen stopped by to see her unidentified friend so they could mull over what the star plans to do about the toxic work environment allegations against her show
The casual stroll came as an internal email, obtained by The New York Post, indicated that Ellen did not have plans to quit her 16-year-long TV show despite rumors she may quit
But a shoe executive has now claimed Ellen, 62, has no plans to jump ship from her embattled TV show and, in fact, has plans to return to work later this month.
An internal email from the show’s top producers, obtained by The New York Post, said Ellen will arrive to set on August 24 for ‘Ellen’s Games of Games’ and the ‘Ellen Show’ is scheduled to premier September 9.
‘We know that these last few days have been a lot to take in and process for everyone,’ read part of the email.
An insider at the show claimed DeGeneres is adamant about protecting the long career she’s built.
‘She’s fighting to protect the show and what she stands for. She is very upset about what happened and determined to fix the problems. She takes full responsibility. But no way is she quitting the show. That’s total BS,’ they told The Post.
Ellen is pictured with Bachelor star Peter Weber earlier this year. Rampant speculation over the future of her career arose after one current and 10 former employees alleged the overt positivity of The Ellen DeGeneres Show was underscored by bullying and racism
Oddly Ellen has not been pictured publicly with her wife Portia De Rossi since the allegations against her show came to light
In Portia’s absence Ellen sought the company of another friend on Saturday afternoon
Earlier this week, an insider at Telepictures told DailyMail.com that the host is telling executives at Telepictures and Warner Bros that she has had enough and wants to walk away from the show.
‘She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,’ they said.
‘The truth is she knew what was going on, it’s her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun – but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame.’
Despite chumming it with a a plethora of celebrities over the shows 16-year run, very few have come out in public support – and some have done just the opposite.
On Thursday night, Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett led the charge against Ellen and even went so far as to tag her in the disparaging Twitter post.
‘Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow,’ wrote Garrett. ‘Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.’
Common knowledge: ‘True story. It is,’ wrote the 59-year-old Back to the Future star in response to Garrett’s sentiment that Ellen’s mistreatment is ‘common knowledge’ in Hollywood
Close encounters: On Thursday night, Garrett also revealed that he happens to ‘know more than one who were treated horribly by [Ellen],’ though he did not provide any specific allegations
Garrett, 60, did not provide details about the alleged mistreatment. He appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show six times between 2004 and 2007.
Garrett’s tweet got an unexpected corroboration from Back of the Future actor Lea Thompson, 59, who responded to Garrett’s tweet with ‘True story. It is.’
So far, only superstar manager Scooter Braun and radio host Kyle Sandilands have attempted to ease tensions against Ellen.
Braun, who’s A-list clients like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande have appeared numerous times on the show, wrote on Twitter that ‘People love to take shots at people.’
‘They love to see people fall. How quickly so many forget. @TheEllenShow is a kind, thoughtful, courageous human being who stands for what is right and highlights on her show the best of us. She has helped change the views for equality,’ he wrote.
‘Needed to say this as I know first hand how she helps so many when we are watching and when we are not. She isn’t about what is popular she is about what is right. Sending love to Ellen today.’
Scoote Bruan is one of a few people who has publicly defended Ellen against the onslaught of accusations
Braun, who manages celebrities like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, called Ellen ‘courageous’ and said she ‘helped change the views on equality’
Sandiland called the accusations leveled at DeGeneres ‘a bit unfair.’
‘You know what these things are like… It’s never the star that goes on and insists these things happen. It’s always the idiots that are around them,’ Kyle said on The Kyle and Jackie O Show Friday,
‘Producers mainly, publicists, they’ve really got an attitude problem. And I know what they’re trying to do. The publicists, they make these stars look like a**eholes, and not on purpose.’
Kyle previously said during a 4BC radio show that the role of a publicist is to get the talent in and out of interviews as quickly as possible.
‘She might have 30 interviews to do that day, so she hasn’t got time to walk around and hear Neil’s story about how his wife loves watching,’ he explained.
He added: ‘Ellen doesn’t have time for that. But it’s never her or any other star. This happens with all the stars. They all come in, all their people, their hangers-on, they all have the same sort of, ‘Don’t talk to her, don’t do this.’ All these crazy rules!’
Apart from Hollywood, which has remained mostly mum on the matter, social media has since flooded with upset fans and shocked viewers.
Our source told DailyMail.com that the backlash may cloud the show’s success in the future and it could be time to end things.
‘At this point, there’s really no way to save the show from this PR nightmare, so Ellen leaving may be the only way for this entire mess to go away.
‘While it is our most profitable show in daytime, we no longer make the money we used to make from the show, as we have to pay her tens of millions of dollars per year to show up.’
The insider says Telepictures will need to develop a new show and star quickly to take over the lucrative timeslot that Ellen currently holds.
‘We thought our problems were with the cast upheaval at The Real, we had no idea that Ellen would implode during quarantine,’ they added.
The uncertainty of Ellen’s TV show may have created an opening for James Corden to slip into her daytime slot.
Insiders with NBC Network told The Sun that the Late Late Show host,41, is in line to replace Ellen.
Corden was reportedly viewed as ‘the long term successor’ to Ellen even before the scandal exploded in the last several weeks.
An insider at NBC Network told The Sun that TV host James Corden (pictured) may be considered to replace Ellen
NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy is reportedly part of the executive team overseeing the investigation into the serious allegations lodged at The Ellen DeGeneres Show and will be instrumental in deciding the future of the program
Telegdy also happens to be a ‘huge fan of James,’ a source told The Sun.
He reportedly has Corden ‘high on his wanted list for talent and a long term replacement for Ellen.’
‘This issue has fast tracked everything and made everyone look at the future today,’ the source told the publication.
‘James Corden was being eyed for Ellen’s job in the long term before any of this came to light. Now this shocking new development places a spotlight on the next step.
‘James and his team have been trailblazers in modern TV, taking the once considered graveyard chat show slot into a cutting edge format with huge online, social media and global recognition,’
‘In five years he went from unknown to A-list star and creative. Currently his CBS deal is only contracted until 2022 after he turned down a five year deal,’ the source said.
A source told The Sun: ‘James would freshen up daytime and with a free hand would be allowed to build a new afternoon era’
Last year, NBC Network bought Corden’s couple comedy series Private Dickersons for development.
The source told The Sun: ‘James is always looking for new challenges .But he has expressed concerns about raising his family in LA so far from his and wife Julia’s English families. They miss them greatly.’
‘They have milled over a return home, but adore their lives and business opportunities so much in LA.’
An extended contract last year saw Corden’s salary raise to more than $6million per year, but that number would reportedly double if he switched to NBC.
Ellen currently receives a reported $50million under her TV deal.
It comes as staff at the show are hitting back at her for shifting the blame to her executive producers in an apology memo sent this week.
‘Don’t think for a minute anything she has said in that apology means anything. She created and then enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long,’ one staffer, who spoke to DailyMail.com on condition of anonymity, said. ‘If anyone had come to her or those three vile [executive producers] to complain, they would’ve been fired.’
‘Inside Telepictures we’ve had enough of her. She is a phony who does not practice what she preaches,’ our Telepictures source said.
‘The behavior of her show executives has been appalling, but [Ellen] is no better. In fact, she is the worst. It’s outrageous that she is trying to pretend that this is all a shock to her. The fish rots from the head, and Ellen is the head.’
Our Telepictures insider claims that Ellen ‘hates coming to work’ and ‘struggles to be nice to people and has utter contempt for her audience.’
‘She has been phoning it in for so long, and only staying for the money and celebrity it affords her,’ they said. ‘We’ve dealt with her BS for so many years, she’s not innocent at all, she’s not nice and the show is not filled with happiness.’
Ellen has continued to broadcast her daytime show – which she’s been doing since 2003 – from her living room of the Santa Barbara, California mansion she shares with wife Portia De Rossi, 47.
These most recent allegations join a number of other claims that Ellen’s behavior has exhausted and upset her crew.
A group of around 30 crew members were upset after she hired an outside company called Key Code Media to film the shows, and also rankled at what they called a lack of communication or transparency about their jobs following the March shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak, Variety reported in April.
‘Higher-ups in production would occasionally answer phone calls but reveal little’ to the crew members, who had their pay slashed by 40 percent amid changes brought about by the virus, insiders told the outlet.
Ellen (right), has continued to broadcast her TV – from her living room of the Santa Barbara, California mansion she shares with wife Portia De Rossi (left)
Sources told the outlet that this was not the case with all the shows, as crews for John Oliver, Desus and Mero and Samantha Bee were paid their full rates, while Jimmy Kimmel dipped into his own pocket for a time to keep his staff getting their regular rates.
Producers responded that ‘Our executive producers and Telepictures are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind.’
Her character also came under fire after a series of tweets from comic Kevin T. Porter March 20 asking his followers to post ‘insane’ tales of ‘Ellen being mean’ caught the attention of social media. (Porter’s effort was linked to a charity drive for the Los Angeles Food Bank.)
Writer Ben Simeon said that ‘a new staff member was told, “Every day she picks someone different to really hate. It’s not your fault, just suck it up for the day and she’ll be mean to someone else the next day.” They didn’t believe it, but it ended up being entirely true.’
‘Everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her and if she thinks you smell that day you have to go home and shower.’
The claims of Ellen’s toxic work environment were revealed earlier this month by one current and 10 former employees of the daytime talk show who accused the three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’
Allegations against the trio claimed they groped and kissed staffers, solicited one of them for oral sex, and were ‘handsy with women.’
Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him. Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague.
And Ed Glavin, an executive producer, allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees.
The former staffers told BuzzFeed News that they believe the host knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the three men for comment. Warner Bros., the studio that runs the show, has declined to comment on the sexual harassment allegations, citing an ongoing internal investigation.
Ellen recently sent her staff a memo in which she wrote she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees after several complaints and an internal investigation into the supposed toxic working environment was launched.
‘On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry,’ Ellen said in the memo.
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – that has never taken the time to say hi to me,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’
‘As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t,’ she added. ‘That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’
But multiple staff members at the show tell DailyMail.com they are not buying Ellen’s apology and are calling on her to call it quits.
One staffer said, ‘She’s only addressing this now because the publicity is so bad for her and her BS brand of happiness and kindness. Ellen can throw everyone else under the bus, but the buck stops with her.
‘Whenever she’d tell viewers to choose kindness, I’d throw up a little in my mouth because she always chose the opposite,’ they added.
Among the allegations was one made by a Black woman who claimed 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 alleged they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
Our source said: ‘She was happy to put her name on the show, yet she let those three executive producers do whatever they wanted. The fish rots from the head and Ellen and the three of them are now rotting.’
They also claimed Ellen and her executive producers will be on a ‘witch hunt’ now to find who spoke out against them.
‘Don’t think for a second that there won’t be a witch hunt to find out who went public with the worst kept secret in television,’ they said. ‘Ellen is mean. She’ll want vengeance for all of this coming out.’
A popular claim that has circulated is that staff members were instructed not to speak to Ellen, and our source corroborated that claim.
‘She kept herself isolated from the staff. You can’t go up and talk to her, heck, you can’t even get within a mile of her on the lot,’ they said.
Current employees are now calling on Ellen to call it quits.
‘Warner Bros should cancel our show or swap her out for a fun celebrity host. Viewers have been fed lies for years. The Ellen you see on TV is disingenuous and inauthentic. She’s a horrible person who has done nothing to support 99% of the people who work for her.
‘Yet they won’t cancel it as all they care about is money and the show is a cash cow.
‘It’s time for Ellen to leave TV. She’s done enough damage. They should replace her with someone wonderful like Jen Aniston. She’s always a dream when she comes by – gracious, kind and funny and we’re actually allowed to look her in the eyes!!’
‘She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,’ a source said of Ellen contemplating quitting her show. She’s pictured on her show with 17-year-old pop star Billie Eilish
Executive producer Andy Lassner tweeted with confidence on Thursday that ‘nobody is going off the air’. He was one of the three executive producers accused of fostering a hostile work environment
A Wednesday report by UsWeekly claims the scandal is uniting staff behind-the-scenes.
‘They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story,’ a source claims to the publication. ‘They’re loving that the truth – which has been an open secret for years in the industry – is finally receiving more interest.’
A source initially told Buzzfeed that the executive producers 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.”
Executive Producer Andy Lassner tweeted with confidence on Thursday that ‘nobody is going off the air’.
Our source said: ‘Many of us have a theory that Ellen behaves this way as a mechanism to protect herself. She was so damaged when her sitcom was canceled after she came out that she chose to keep people at a distance in order not to get hurt should this show be canceled. Yet 17 seasons later it’s still on the air and she’s so powerful now she thought she could do whatever she wanted.’
One staffer told DailyMail.com: ‘Even though our show is crumbling around us, it’s liberating for everything to come out into the open.’
Ellen DeGeneres’ memo to her staff addressing mistreatment allegations
Hey everybody — it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me. It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice.
We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then. Stay safe and healthy.