Ellen DeGeneres recently came under fire for not living up to her "be kind to one another" mantra, and employees who have worked on her daytime talk show have come forward with new allegations.
In an investigation published by Buzzfeed News, 11 employees (10 former and one current) spoke out against their experiences working on the day time talk show.
The allegations published include that they were fired after taking medical or bereavement leave, experienced racism, and said they had negative experiences at the hands of the show's management.
One employee responded to the ongoing rumours that Ellen is a mean person, sparked by a tweet from Kevin T Porter earlier this year which called her "the meanest person alive". More than 1000 people responded to the tweet, many with their own allegations about DeGeneres' behaviour.
"People focus on rumours about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that's not the problem," the employee told the publication.
Instead, the employee pointed to the show's management for cultivating a "feeling of bullying" in the workplace.
"People focus on rumours about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that's not the problem. The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean," an employee said.
In May, a bodyguard who had worked with DeGeneres told Fox News he found her to be "very cold", "sly", and demeaning.
According to an employee who currently works on the show, the allegations from the bodyguard resulted in an all-staff Zoom meeting.
"I think it is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to the show's brand," The employee told Buzzfeed News.
"They pull on people's heartstrings; they do know what's going to get likes and what people are going to go for, which is a positive message. But that's not always reality."
The claims in the article included one by an employee who was warned by the management to take down their Go Fund Me campaign for medical costs because it would tarnish DeGeneres' image.
Another person, who is a Black woman, says she experienced "microaggressions" and that her colleagues "distanced themselves" when she spoke up about discrimination.
A spokesperson for the show said in a statement to Buzzfeed News they were "heartbroken" about the claims and took them seriously.
"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.
"For the record, the day-to-day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
The fresh wave of employees speaking up about their experience comes after Variety reported in April workers were "distressed and outraged" about the lack of communication from producers during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.