What you are looking at above is a picture of Ellen DeGeneres explaining about horny Japanese penguins on her show several months ago (for real). There’s a very good chance that display board and telescopic pointer have been pulled out of storage, and this time they’re being used by an internal review board to keep track of just how many employee complaints and grievances have been made about working on the Ellen show. Because let’s face it, there’s enough to fill a whole 10×30 storage unit full of display boards at this point.
There have been rumors for years that the real Ellen might not actually be the always-smiling ray of sunshine you see soft-shoeing on TV every weekday afternoon. That rumor was amplified in a big way at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when a Twitter thread started exposing the alleged truth about what it’s like to work for Ellen and her crew may have been screwed over when the show started shooting at Ellen’s mansion due to the pandemic. BuzzFeed recently did a little digging themselves by speaking to one current and ten former employees, and if their stories are true, then the show should be renamed to HELLen. Because it’s allegedly a really awful work environment. Someone at WarnerMedia must have finally realized that it might be time to start taking some of those allegations serious because they’ve formally launched a workplace investigation. via Variety:
Executives from show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television sent a memo to staffers last week saying they have engaged WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third party firm, who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set, said sources.
Variety reached out to Warner Bros. Television and the Ellen show, but neither had anything to say about it.
The details of the investigation have yet to be revealed. All we know right now is that Ellen staff knows an investigation is happening. And what will they discover? Well, according to that BuzzFeed article, one source alleged that their employment was terminated when they took some time off after a suicide attempt. A former Black employee alleged that she faced a mountain of anti-Black microaggressions from producers, which eventually led to her walking off the job. Several sources claimed that when issues were brought up to producers, they were met with push back, or their concerns were dismissed.
That investigation may end up with confusing results. On the one hand, current employees might feel brave and say that the workplace is toxic. And on the other, there will be Ellen’s inner circle, whose only complaint will be that Ellen doesn’t have more hands, so she can hold all the WORLD’S BEST BOSS mugs they keep giving her for Christmas. Ellen should probably be worried about the first group. Actually, she probably already is. In fact, I bet a bunch of terrified staffers are about to receive a gift basket containing a Rolex, the keys to a 2021 Mazda CX-9, a signed copy of her Entertainment Weekly cover, shares in Shutterfly stock, and $50,000 in cash. “Hello subordinate. Is this good enough for you to keep your mouth shut? If not, I can send over some taffy that will keep your jaw busy. From Ellen.”