Staff call Ellen DeGeneres 'Talk Show Karen'
EXCLUSIVE: ‘She’s Talk Show Karen!’ Staff give Ellen DeGeneres a new nickname as insiders claim James Corden will NOT be replacing her and say Kristen Bell, Melissa McCarthy or Jennifer Aniston are in the running to take over
- 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
- 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
- But sources tell DailyMail.com Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell, Melissa McCarthy and the ultimate A-lister Jennifer Aniston are in the running for the spot
- Production sources also revealed staff have taken to calling Ellen ‘Talk Show Karen’
- Ellen was photographed taking a walk with an unidentified friend on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica
Ellen DeGeneres has been given a new nickname by upset staffers: ‘Talk Show Karen’.
Production sources tell DailyMail.com that staff who have worked in the alleged toxic work environment refer to the talk show host as ‘Talk Show Karen’ when they discuss the recent turmoil. ‘Karen’ has become a term to describe an entitled or demanding white woman.
‘Who would’ve thought that one of America’s most loved personalities would morph into America’s most famous Karen?’ production sources say. ‘There’s no way anyone on staff wants Karen and her band of toxic executives to return.’
This comes as an insider from Telepictures, the production company behind the Ellen DeGeneres show, tells DailyMail.com that potential replacements for the talk show host include Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell, Melissa McCarthy and ‘the ultimate A-lister’ Jennifer Aniston.
‘All four have global name recognition and their own following. They are all genuinely warm and could carry an Ellen-less show,’ the source says.
Production sources revealed staff have taken to calling Ellen ‘Talk Show Karen’. Ellen was photographed taking a walk with an unidentified friend on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica
Sources tell DailyMail.com Jennifer Aniston is in the running to take over the show from Ellen
Kristen Bell and Melissa McCarthy are also being looked at as a potential new host for the coveted daytime talk show spot, sources say
The Telepictures source put to bed recent reports that late night talk show host James Corden would be stepping into her role. Corden was reportedly viewed as ‘the long term successor’ to Ellen even before the scandal exploded in the last several weeks.
‘James Corden is definitely not under consideration as he has a long term deal with CBS and if he was interested in a daytime show, CBS would develop one for him. Regardless, he’s busy enough in late night so it’s not going to happen,’ they said.
The source said they are also looking for someone with a squeaky clean reputation, as rumors have swirled for years that Corden is notoriously rude behind the scenes.
‘The lesson for a post-Ellen world is to have someone who is genuinely nice and likeable,’ they said.
‘Sean [Hayes] is currently the front runner as he has availability and he has proven successful when he has guest hosted Ellen in the past,’ they said. ‘It’s funny how history repeats itself. Many of us remember when Rosie O’Donnell was the queen of nice. Look how that turned out. She wasn’t!’
‘Ellen is Rosie 2.0. Everyone now knows that she is not what she sold herself as. She’s just mean, mean, mean.
‘If Ellen does walk, we have less than six weeks to keep our clearances (time periods) and build a new show around a new host with new show runners. Otherwise NBC could take the time slots back and up Kelly Clarkson a show that they own.’
‘Our show in its current form won’t work. The Ellen production staff and Warner Bros’ executives lost faith in the three executive producers of the show and Ellen. This is a PR nightmare that you can’t recover from.’
A Telepictures source said James Corden will not be stepping into her role. Corden was reportedly viewed as ‘the long term successor’ to Ellen even before the scandal exploded in the last several weeks
‘Sean [Hayes] is currently the front runner as he has availability and he has proven successful when he has guest hosted Ellen in the past,’ a source said
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.’
Our source says, ‘the four of them are now radioactive and can’t take the show forward for another season. The whole brand proposition of ”nice” has blown up.’
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.
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.
Executive Producers of the Ellen DeGeneres Show Mary Connelly (left), Andy Lassner (center), and Ed Glavin have been accused of fostering a hostile work environment. ‘If anyone had come to her or those three vile EPs [executive producers] to complain, they would’ve been fired,’ a staffer said
Executive producers (left to right) Jonathan Norman, Kevin Lenman and Ed Glavin were accused by over 30 former employees of sexual misconduct
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
Last 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.’
But 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.
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.
Executive Producer Andy Lassner tweeted with confidence on Thursday that ‘nobody is going off the air’.
‘The arrogance of Andy on Twitter has been obscene. He thinks he is a TV star. It’s sad,’ a current production source said. ‘So many of us have been around for decades and know Ed’s history.
‘Mary has to go too. She’s known as Ellen-lite. If Ellen does stay, they need to clean house and sweep the three of them out the door.’
The source says they’re hoping Ellen does walk and Telepictures and Warner Bros install a new host with new executives.’
Ellen was seen for the first time since the drama unfolded 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.
A downcast Ellen stepped out for a walk with a friend on Saturday afternoon as sources claimed she will not be quitting her eponymous TV show despite a slew of recent allegations regarding a toxic work environment riddled with sexual misconduct
Ellen sent her staff a memo in which she wrote she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees, appearing to shift the blame to her producers
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.’
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.’
Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett chimed saying in a tweet, ‘Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge’
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
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.
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.’
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.’
Last week Ellen 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.
‘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!!’
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.
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