Ellen DeGeneres’ former DJ Tony Okungbowa says he experienced ‘toxicity’

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There are two kinds of people in America: those who believe that Ellen DeGeneres has been an awful person for years and those who believe the “kindness” shtick that she promotes (and hides behind) on her show. It looks like more people are converting to the Ellen-is-awful side following multiple reports of staff racism, favoritism, sexual abuse and harassment in what was an extremely toxic work environment. Well, it looks like people are no longer tuning in for Ellen’s show:

People appear to be more interested in the backstage drama at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” than the show itself.

Ratings for the daytime program — which is facing ongoing allegations of a “toxic” workplace culture — slipped to a series low last month, snagging a 1.0 Live + Same Day household rating for the week ending July 26, according to The Wrap, which noted that it’s a 9% drop from the previous week and a steep -29% fall from the same period in summer 2019. However, it’s worth noting that other talk shows currently in summer reruns have also faced declines, including “Dr. Oz,” which dropped 22%, and “The Real” and “The Doctors,” which are both down 20%.

[From The NY Post]

I mean, they’ve all been airing summer reruns, correct? New episodes are not being filmed or released right now. And besides that, Ellen was ill-suited to the “filming at home” quarantine thing – she was completely awful at that format and people were already checking out of watching her show in quarantine anyway. It will be curious to see what happens when she’s supposed to “come back” and film new episodes though. We’ll see.

Anyway, Ellen’s brother Vance has been defending her on social media:

I do think Ellen would allow bullying on her show, because she’s been a bully herself on air. She’s also shown a tone-deaf approach to many racial issues. So, yeah, I don’t know Ellen, but I believe she has fostered the massively toxic work environment. And finally, remember Tony Okungbowa, the former house-DJ on The Ellen Show? He’s backing up his former colleagues. (For those who can’t see it, he writes: “Hey Guys,
I hope you are all keeping safe out there during these trying times. I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there. I was on air talent from 2003-2006 and from 2007 -2013. While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.”
) Interesting:

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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23 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres’ former DJ Tony Okungbowa says he experienced ‘toxicity’”

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  1. shanaynay says:

    On a totally different note.

    Can someone explain to me why/how Larsa Pippen is famous? All I ever seem to do is see her prancing around in bikinis?

    • You Must Be Joking says:

      Sometimes that’s enough.

    • Kate says:

      She married Scotty Pippin, she was friends with Kim K. And was on episodes of KUWTK. When drama would happen, like the Jordan/Tristan kiss, she ran to insta and Twitter and ran her mouth about the drama. Kris Jenner doesn’t deal with the ones who run their mouths so she gone. Lol

    • Courtney B says:

      I first saw her on Real Housewives of Miami and she seemed awful. Shallow and mean.

  2. You Must Be Joking says:

    Sounds like some of her employees have been to Ellen and back.

  3. Jensies says:

    Hey Kaiser, can you put Tokung’s insta caption in separate text? It doesn’t show up in viewers. Thanks!

    • Chanteloup says:

      “Hey Guys,
      I hope you are all keeping safe out there during these trying times. I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there. I was on air talent from 2003-2006 and from 2007 -2013. While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.” ~ @tokungbowa Tony okungbowa verified

  4. Cupcake says:

    I do wonder how many men would get called out for this behavior.

    • Chimney says:

      I mean Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer aren’t around much these days… I don’t understand should we give her a pass on workplace cruelty because it doesn’t reach the level of truly terrible men?

    • A says:

      Yeah for stuff like this surely the answer lies in calling more men out on being terrible employers, colleagues, and people rather than letting more women slide?

  5. Ann says:

    Ellen should do herself a favor and walk away. Her defensiveness and weak efforts at taking responsibility for any of these problems makes me think she’ll double down and continue with the show. She could pull the plug, pay out some settlements, do some easy PR work and she’d come out fine, but seems she’s going to do this the hard way. Whatevs, just means more schadenfreudey gossip.

  6. Case says:

    Tony always seemed like a cool guy. I’m glad he said something.

    The thing with random celebrities and family members defending her – as mentioned in this post, many viewers caught on to how rude and passive aggressive Ellen could be. ON AIR! If she’s like that on camera, how is she behind the scenes to non-famous people???

    I do understand that her friends might want to speak up for her, but it’s just…not relevant. These allegations are wide-reaching enough where the positive experiences of a few simply do not matter.

    • Noki says:

      There have been a couple of black male celebs coming to her defense when they rarely shpw similar support to the black females who would be in lesser scrutiny,in fact they usually make a joke out their backlash.

  7. You Must Be Joking says:

    Her affection towards George W Bush was a huge red flag.

  8. Valerie says:

    Taking into consideration Tony’s ever-present cheerfulness, this is even sadder to hear. But not surprising. She’s a toxic person; everyone has known that for years. I think she weaponized her sexuality, knowing that if anyone criticized her, she could just accuse them of homophobia and that would be them branded for life.

  9. Noki says:

    A lot of celebrities have been coming to her defense,what dont they get ofcourse Ellen is not going to be rude to fellow peers. For example Terry Richardson abused ‘no name’ models he wasnt going to pull that crap with Kendall Jenner or the Hadid sisters.

    • Valerie says:

      Yes, exactly! I hope Diane Keaton read and absorbed the replies to her Instagram post where she said the same thing. “Ellen was always nice to me,” well, of course she was.

      I will say, though, I don’t think Ellen was particularly nice to her guests. I didn’t watch her show often, but when I did, she always seemed to be just barely concealing her irritation. She didn’t seem to appreciate Diane stealing the spotlight with her jokes!

      • Noki says:

        Yes for an actress she really could not conceal her expressions. When someone was their funnier than her or when her stupid scares fell flat. It waa bliss seeing Dakota not play her Queen B games.

    • FC says:

      Kind of waiting for Jen Aniston to respond. They’ve vacationed together and seem to be in the same celebrity circle.

  10. Deanne says:

    Why would anyone care about other celebrities defending her? It’s the opinion of those she employs that I care about. I loved Tony. I’m glad he’s speaking up. Do these celebrities really think that they have any insight into how her staff are treated, or what it’s like working for her? No, they don’t. I don’t care if she always been nice to Jerry O’Connell, defended Kevin Hart’s homophobia and that Diane Keaton always has fun on her show. Their experiences don’t change the fact that she is a clearly toxic person, fostering a toxic work environment. She’s not being attacked. She’s being called out and it’s long overdue.

  11. Winnie Cooper’s Mom says:

    Ellen should call it a day and retire. You need to know when to bow out and this is her opportune time to leave. If she stays and her ratings sink even more, it will only damage her rep long term. Surely she has some PR folks coaching her through this.