Celebrities keep defending Ellen DeGeneres & they’re absolutely making it worse

Ellen Degeneres attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California© Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com

Celebrities really are out of touch, right? I knew this already, but sometimes I’m just stunned by how so many celebrities live inside their own asses. Several big-name celebrities are stepping up to defend Ellen DeGeneres in the wake of some truly awful stories about the toxic work environment behind-the-scenes on her show. While Ellen was not the direct perpetrator of most of the toxicity, let’s also be clear about this: she knew and she let it all happen. She either didn’t care about the hostile work environment or she thought she could get away with treating “below the line” people like trash.

As those stories have been coming out, a small but steady stream of celebrities have come out to say that Ellen personally treated them well. Which… those celebrities really think they’re doing something, right? They really think they’re making some big point? Of course rich and bored Ellen treats other rich people well. She considers them on the same elite level. So instead of just staying quiet (I see you, Jennifer Aniston!), some of Ellen’s friends are riding to her defense. Like Jay Leno:

The charity thing… Harvey Weinstein raised tens of millions of dollars for charity and liberal/progressive causes and he is still a degenerate rapist. Those things can coexist, is my point. Ellen can treat other rich people well and raise a lot of money for charity and still be a horrible boss who fosters a toxic work environment. Speaking of, People Magazine has an exclusive coming straight from… Ellen’s producers, I think. I do not believe this is how Ellen really feels at the moment:

While closing out every episode of her daytime talk show, Ellen DeGeneres makes it a point to remind viewers to “be kind to one another” — but some former employees are claiming the environment behind the scenes is nothing of the sort. In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, a source close to DeGeneres, 62, says the star was “crushed” when she first learned about the allegations of a “toxic” work environment made by anonymous former employees in a BuzzFeed News report last month, which included racist comments, fear of retribution for complaining and being penalized for medical leave.

The show’s parent company, Warner Bros. Television, subsequently launched an internal investigation of the show, of which the initial findings “indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management,” according to a statement last week.

According to the source, DeGeneres is “personally going to be invested in making sure those things are properly changed.” The source says the comedian will be back to host the talk show when it’s expected to return, on Sep. 9. “She wants to just put out a great show that makes people happy and feel good,” the source says. “She’s very focused on that.”

“There is definitely a tension at Ellen that doesn’t exist at the other shows,” a third insider tells PEOPLE. “The employees all seem on eggshells.”

[From People]

Oh, talk to that third source again, People! They sound like they have some tea. The first two sources just sound like Andy Lassner and, like, Portia?? I still don’t believe that Ellen is in any way committed to making positive changes for her staff, or for really rededicating herself to her work in a real way. She’s been phoning it in for so long and it’s been clear she doesn’t even want to be there, but there’s just too much money on the table.

Ellen Degeneres in the press room at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California © Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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53 Responses to “Celebrities keep defending Ellen DeGeneres & they’re absolutely making it worse”

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  1. BlueSky says:

    Ashley Nicole Black summed this up perfectly on Twitter “ I don’t think it’s that celebs “don’t know” people treat them differently. I think it’s that toxic workplaces are widely accepted in this industry, ppl are expected not to complain, and higher ups dont care how folks are treated as long as the work is done on time and on budget“

    • Lara says:

      I also saw on twitter someone say that most of us have worked in jobs with the worst managers ever but when they face the customers they’re the nicest people ever. So just because they’ve been nice to you doesn’t mean you know what goes on behind the scenes.

    • minx says:

      These people have no idea how ridiculous and privileged they sound. Of course Ellen is going to be sweet to them, that’s not the issue! She should be judged by how she treats the peasants—not well, by all accounts.

    • Scal says:

      A person can be a good talk show host and good to the celebs, and absolutely horrible to their staff or people that work for them. It’s not all nice or all bad.

  2. Lara says:

    The first picture is just perfection. Good job on choosing it.

  3. Atti says:

    I gotta say… does a person deserve being cancelled for being an asshole? I mean… an asshole can be redeemable. I think she deserves being called out 100%, and I dont think her apology was worth the «paper» it was written on. She’d have to start over, hire a completely new diverse staff, and stop being an arrogant «dont look me in the eye» B. But I guess I dont think anyone should be publicly «cancelled» if they just have ugly personalities.

    • OriginalLala says:

      She is being called out for being an asshole. If the consequences of her actions are that people don’t want to work with her/her show gets cancelled, oh well. Some people seem to think that they can act like d*cks without consequences, and if being “cancelled” means they suffer some consequences, then too bad so sad.

    • A says:

      What does ‘cancelled’ even mean? It seems like that changes depending on who’s talking. Most of the talk about her leaving her show has been framed like ‘Ellen DeGeneres is so upset she’s thinking of leaving the show’ not ‘Ellen DeGeneres is a monster who needs to be thrown into a pit and forgotten forever’, so I don’t know that this counts as cancelling in my book.

      • Atti says:

        I’m sorry. By cancelled I mean Kevin Spacey, Louie CK, Roseanne people nobody will hire because of association. I brought it up because some are surprised that Ellen gets support from some people, and may actually go on working spite so many seeming to wanting her cancelled.

        I’m not saying she shouldnt be publicly called out and buried in bad press, she 100% deserves it.

      • Circe says:

        Louis CK and Kevin Spacey are canceled for sexual assault. Asking someone to watch you masturbate when they work with you and are your subordinate and groping waiters, those things are sexual assault, not being an asshole.

    • Alexandria says:

      How about we stop conveniently calling it cancel culture when this is just a made up term? What do you prefer to call it when an asshole gets called out and then issues an insincere apology but doesn’t want to face up to the consequences?

      • BlueSky says:

        @Alexandria Thank you!!! I’m so sick of this! Cancel culture does not exists. Kanye still has fans and is welcomed in his circle. JK Rowling is still a popular wealthy woman, etc. “Cancelled” started out as slang for “I don’t f@ck with that person anymore” Then it got hijacked and became a term to use for every f@cking thing! celebrities, public figures etc who are so used to being insufferable and now don’t want to be held accountable for the things they say or do or are unwilling to evolve are the ones that decry “cancel culture”. The climate has changed. People are no longer willing to stay quiet about racism, sexism, sexual harassment. If you are a$$hole, a tyrant, a racist, a misogynist, people are going to call you out and people have a right to say “you know what, you clearly have no interest in changing so I don’t feel comfortable supporting your movies, TV shows, music, etc.

      • Atti says:

        Thats not what cancel culture is.

        Cancelling someone is like… Louie CK. Not like Kevin Hart- who managed to persist. Kevin was ALMOST cancelled. Paused.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Louis CK is still performing & dropped a new streaming special in April. And he’s still got all his money. He hasn’t been “canceled” just because he lost some opportunities due to his own awful, sexually abusive behavior. He *should* have been canceled, but instead he still gets paid to joke, including about masturbating in front of women who didn’t consent & who he knew had less power in the industry than he has.

        Btw, I’m sure Ellen would appreciate her workplace behavior being compared (more than once!) with Louis CK’s. Reminds me of the SNL Kavanaugh sketch with Matt Damon where he implores Lindsey Graham to stop comparing him to Bill Cosby.

      • Jess says:

        Thank you, Alexandria! I hare people acting like “cancel culture” is this evil thing that’s destroying people’s lives when all it really is about is calling out people’s hateful behavior and saying I don’t want to support that person anymore. As I always say, Mel Gibson is still getting movie roles so “cancel culture” doesn’t actually do much.

    • Sarah says:

      Ellen will *at most* have her show cancelled, but she herself will never be cancelled. Those hundreds of millions of dollars will cushion the fall.

      People absolutely deserve to be called out and have consequences for being assholes, in all workplaces and social circles. Full stop.

      • People keep leaving out that it’s also against the law to abuse your employees and take everyone’s word for it, she DEFINITELY abuses her employees.

        But this is definitely part of a bigger culture of worker abuse in Hollywood in general. Movie and tv sets are notoriously run hard and long and low pay. Hollywood agents and producers are KNOWN for routinely treating underlings like dirt. They literally had to address how many workers were getting in car accidents driving home after 19 -20 hour days driving exhausted and falling asleep. (My husband once worked 24 hours days in Post prod every other day for a LONG while) So how freaking bad do you think she is if the normal culture is ALREADY notoriously hideously bad?

    • emmy says:

      Cancel culture is not a thing. It’s a term invented by famous people who don’t like being called out or face consequences. Nothing happens to these people unless they’re actual criminals.

      And in my experience, people don’t change unless they have no choice. Ellen is rich as hell, she doesn’t have to change. Mostly, you’re an assh*le from a very young age or money brings it out. It is a question of character.

  4. Ellie says:

    I worry that the people who actually watch Ellen are the people who won’t know or care this is happening. Like they are the type to either only get their celebrity news from watching Ellen, or they will be like (and I have already seen this on my Facebook from people in my hometown), “Oh I just love Ellen, she would never do that!”

    • Esmom says:

      It’s a real problem, with people able to create completely alternate universes through their media choices.

      I have an old classmate on FB who incessantly posts racist right wing propaganda. I fell down a rabbit hole one day clicking and checking out all her “sources,” trying to find something, anything, legit. So many bad actors posting sh^t that looks like journalism and it’s nothing but lies and propaganda. And she talks about how the libs are the ignorant fools.

  5. Chica1971 says:

    Maybe an outside law firm investigation is needed like Uber, because too many people who didn’t work on Ellen is working overtime to convince us she was naive about what was going on.

  6. Sierra says:

    Surprisingly Ellen’s close buddies like Sandra B, Reese W, Gwyneth P, Jennifer A are all being quiet about this.

    I live in UK and even I have heard about Ellen’s mistreatments.

    • Godwina says:

      Not surprising at all. They probably understand the ferocious, religious-zealot-like trend these days of accusing people of “sinning by association” (whether it’s Meghan Markle’s palship with Jessica Mulroney, or someone who dares to keep following Rowling on Twitter). Best PR course of action is silence, whether these friends believe that Ellen has sinned or not.

  7. Becks1 says:

    Harvey Weinstein is actually a great analogy. Many people didn’t know (or didn’t want to know) about his criminal sexual behavior. He raised a lot of money for various causes, his movies made a lot of money, he made people huge stars and waged the best Oscar campaigns for those stars (flip side of course being that if he decided you weren’t going to be a star, you weren’t.) And a lot of people that he worked with did not realize what he was doing to women. I remember a part from Catch and Kill, where Ronan Farrow has been going to Tom Brokaw for advice, and after a few convos Tom is finally like, “just who are we talking about?” and Ronan says its Harvey Weinstein and Tom says, “Harvey? But he’s my friend.”

    Anyway point being, that how Harvey treated the people he DIDNT assault or abuse doesn’t negate what he did to his victims. So when people came out in defense of Harvey, or defense of Matt Lauer, etc – it just wasn’t worth anything IMO because – congratulations, you’re one of the ones who wasn’t victimized?

    I feel the same way with these celebrities defending Ellen. Congratulations, she was nice to you? These complaints are specifically about a toxic work environment on her show. How would Jay Leno know anything about that? Great that she raised a lot of money for various causes. That doesn’t negate the (increasingly valid) complaints from the show’s employees.

    • Sarah says:

      If Jay Leno doesn’t listen to hearsay how about he goes and talks to the people who have been sharing these experiences? Get it first hand.

      • Becks1 says:

        I agree….my point is that I don’t think Jay Leno needed to say anything. Of course ellen was nice to him. That doesn’t negate the claims from her employees.

  8. You Must Be Joking says:

    The interwebs hates you, Ellen. It’s all over. I don’t make the rules.

  9. Sarah says:

    “Amazon is an amazing place to work and not at all an exploitative corporation. It’s always been so kind to me and my team!” ~Jeff Bezos, probably. Similar vibe.

    Girl…if Geraldo and Ted Cruz are coming to your defence, that’s not a great look.

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Popularity is a funny thing. To think you can simply wake up every morning, be loved, adored, respected and listened to just for existing is as funny as Ellen thinks she still is. Change is inevitable. And if you’re a smarmy asshole in today’s world, relying on the opinions of others for staying power, then you’re already lost. Not cancelled, simply surrounded by disinterest. And we don’t watch, listen or tune in to disappointment. There are too many other, better, forms of entertainment lol.

  11. MellyMel says:

    She clearly sent out a mass email for all her “friends” to defend her on social media. Pathetic and out of touch. No ones believes y’all.

  12. diffraction says:

    The header pics you keep choosing for her are hilarious. She is giving off major Night King vibes!

  13. Jules says:

    Birds of a feather. The top Hollywood players will support one another, because who knows who will be next to fall.

  14. Meg says:

    I’m going to bring up Dakota Johnson because I don’t understand the praise for her response in that last interview (so if someone can explain) with Ellen where she refused to play along with Ellen’s comment ‘you didn’t invite me to your birthday’. that’s a joke Conan does too, to play this role of dorky nerdy comedian ‘no one likes me.’ It’s a joke. If you don’t think it’s funny,ok that’s your right to feel that way and if you can tell a better joke then by all means go ahead but a TV show host is trying to be funny and to block their joke or be an obstacle to the joke is just being a bad guest in my opinion. Is it a lazy joke? Sure again you can think that but for Dakota to deflect the joke just derails the interview. They’re trying to host a comedy show and you’re being a wet blanket. Like Dakota wanted it to be awkward for her own entertainment? That to me is rude

    • A says:

      I’ve never seen Conan set out to make guests genuinely uncomfortable the way Ellen sometimes does.

      And in this clip, I don’t see Ellen making herself the butt of the joke. She’s “jokingly” calling Dakota out for not inviting her to the bday party. I can see that being annoying, especially if (1) this has been done before, and (2) you made a point of inviting her and she declined. I don’t see how Dakota did anything wrong by saying, “actually, I did invite you.

  15. Case says:

    “The charity thing… Harvey Weinstein raised tens of millions of dollars for charity and liberal/progressive causes and he is still a degenerate rapist.”

    Great point. We need to get rid of this idea that just because someone is capable of doing good/treating people well/holding the same views we do doesn’t mean they’re inherently good people who couldn’t possibly act poorly. I don’t doubt Ellen is charitable, liberal, and nice to her friends. That’s not the issue here.

  16. Reisha says:

    Ellen has been dialing it in forever and has wanted out of her contract anyway. It also does not seem to be a hidden secret she is subject to severe moodiness with a liberal dose of mean girl toppings.

    On the flip side of it, she has donated alot of her time and money towards charitable endeavors. She is human afterall. As such we all have flaws but with all her merchandising & other brands… she certainly does not need the income. IMOO, she wants out anyway so how about the asshole directing members who treated crew members so horribly be out of work in Production ? Should she have tolerated it for years (absolutely not) however those carrying out the inappropriate conduct in the workplace should also be held accountable (even more so) and not permitted to work in the industry again.

    As far as the HWood ass kissers coming out to support her- since they get preferred treatment upfront, they are irrelevant.

  17. Eleonora says:

    Tip: if you make being nice your brand, be nice

  18. Zaya says:

    Because Jay Leno is the arbiter of how shows should be run? Considering he’s toxic himself, perhaps he should shut the f up. Has he ever apologized for his behavior?

  19. Andrea says:

    What an unpleasant person!!!

  20. Jay says:

    If your top defenders are Kevin Hart, Ashton Kutcher, and Jay Leno… maybe you need to rethink a few things.

  21. BraveLilToaster says:

    The bottom line is that the peasants are harassed, gaslighted, abused, underpaid, overworked, underemployed, belittled, and exploited, across the board in far, far, too many industries. Arguably, many or even most of them. Celebrities don’t understand this. Honestly, if “cancel culture” is where egos and careers go to die: I’m all for it. It still seems like a loaded time made up by a privileged few to once again, shame and gaslight the peasants, when the rich and privileged, are in fact, the perpetrators who should answer for their abuse.

  22. Linda says:

    I love your writing, Kaiser. You always get straight to the point that matters.

  23. WilliamJoelene says:

    So true. Its how you treat people with no right of reply, not how you treat other powerful people. If Jay was a lighting assistant on $35k, see how it goes then. @minx – you nailed it. Privelege.

  24. Rebecca Siegel says:

    So…. this is secondhand but a friend of friend works on the Ellen Show. She asked him about the controversy surrounding Ellen and he said he really loves working there and has never been treated poorly by Ellen, but of course he is aware of what is going on and is worried he’ll lose his job if the show is canceled ( cuz he just bought a house with his wife). I mean, she could still be shitty to other people, but I did find it a little odd that he totally doesn’t feel that way. Also, I loved Ellen’s comedy when I was in college( like 1995) but definitely feel her comedy has grown stale. I didn’t find her latest stand up – was it called unrelatable?- funny at all.

  25. Meggin says:

    I’m not impressed with the fact that she treats other rich celebrities well….. nor is anybody else lol. I knew someone who went to her show and said she was horrid off camera and they were super disappointed with the whole experience.