Ellen DeGeneres says she ‘misses’ her staff during lockdown, but they allegedly don’t have the nicest things to say about her
Ellen DeGeneres is missing her staff while she’s in coronavirus isolation, but there’s a chance some of them aren’t missing her back.
The TV talkshow host has suspended production of The Ellen Show and asked her staff to remain at home during the pandemic.
“I wish I hadn’t. I miss them,” she said as she shared a tearful video on social media, explaining that she’s feeling “stir crazy and anxious” as she self-isolates.
“I just wanted to say, stay safe, pay attention to what they’re telling us to do, and this will pass much faster if we listen to what our smart people are telling us to do,” she advised fans.
This was my show staff’s planned spring break week. I’ve asked them all to continue to stay home, and disconnect for a week. I wish I hadn’t. I miss them. But I’ll be posting lots more next week when they’re back. Until then, enjoy today’s Safer-at-Home Spring Break 2020. Day 1. pic.twitter.com/Ou21rpRyS8
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 24, 2020
The video came just days after one of her ex-employees, Kevin T Porter, described her as “one of the meanest people alive” in a Twitter thread.
He encouraged Twitter users to share their “insane stories” of Ellen’s behaviour, pledging to match each one with a $2 donation to LA Food Bank.
It wasn’t long before the flood gates opened as people shared stories that seemed painfully at odds with the star’s reputation for generosity and kindness.
Drag Race star Detox shared: “An old friend worked on her lot and smiled & said ‘good afternoon’ to her one day and she became unhinged. ‘Who do you think you are? You don’t look at me’ yada yada. She said Portia was with her and seemed embarrassed and tried to calm her down. Has forever changed my opinion of her.”
Every day she picks someone different to really hate.
TV writer Benjamin Siemon claimed: “She has a ‘sensitive nose’ so 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.”
He continued: “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.”
Author Allison Freer chimed in: “Was working on a show at Warner Bros that was next to her stage. Was our showrunner’s 50th birthday. Caterer grilling steaks outside for special fancy lunch. Ellen sent someone over to demand they stop, as she doesn’t eat meat. She’s the worst.”
And the stories kept on coming:
My sister worked for the Ellen Show for two years. This is from her: “I saw Ellen in the hallways every day and would say hello and she never once said hello back. She wouldn’t smile. She wouldn’t even acknowledge me at all. For two seasons.”
— the nude eel (@nude_eel) March 21, 2020
My brother was a runner on her show for a year. All the staff treated him like trash, with Ellen being the worst. She would demand things, and then refuse to make eye contact or even say thank you. She was earning millions and he was earning below minimum wage.
— Matilda Valentine #FBPE (@MatildaValent14) March 23, 2020
My dad use to work in 5 star restaurants as a waiter. He said she made a joke but my dad didn’t find it funny. He told me she went kinda like “you didn’t think that was funny? You don’t know who I am? How do you not? I’m Ellen degeneres everyone knows who I am.”
— Nicole (@Nicole48458635) March 23, 2020
It’s ubiquitous. At your first LA party someone tells you how terrible she is.
— 🌸 Liz aka Possum Bae 🌸 (@theloveliestliz) March 20, 2020
As several people on the thread pointed out, none of the stories are confirmed, and some suggested that Porter’s call-out was in poor taste as it encouraged online bullying. Many refused to believe the rumours, citing examples of Ellen’s kindness.
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But it’s not the first time Ellen’s been called out: back in 2016 her fellow comedian Kathy Griffin said that she “has a mean streak” that is “well known throughout Hollywood”.
After being inundated with responses, Porter tweeted: “Well this got out of hand! It’s now hard to tell which stories are real or not, so I’ve rounded up to 300 and donated $600!”