Katy Perry defends 'positive' Ellen amid workplace bullying scandal
‘We all have witnessed her continual fight for equality’: Katy Perry throws her support behind her ‘positive’ friend Ellen DeGeneres amid her workplace bullying scandal
- The pregnant singer, 35, took to Twitter on Tuesday to praise the 62-year-old broadcaster’s ‘continual fight for equality’
- Firework hitmaker Katy also insisted she had ‘only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen and on the show’
- DJ Samantha Ronson and Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands have also spoken out in support of the TV icon
- Former employees have claimed that bullying, racism and sexual harassment were commonplace while working on the show
- Last Thursday, the host sent a memo to her staff where she said she was ‘taking steps to correct issues’
- They were said to be unimpressed by her apology and want her to step down from hosting
- Last week, the show’s parent company WarnerMedia launched an investigation after workers went public with their grievances
Katy Perry has thrown her support behind her industry friend Ellen DeGeneres, who is currently facing an investigation over allegations of racism, bullying and fostering a ‘toxic environment’ behind the scenes of her eponymous talk show.
The pregnant singer, 35, took to Twitter on Tuesday to praise the 62-year-old broadcaster’s ‘continual fight for equality’ and insisted she had ‘only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen and on the show’.
She wrote: ‘1/2 I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow.’
‘Sending you love & a hug, friend’: Katy Perry has thrown her support behind her industry friend Ellen DeGeneres amid her workplace scandal (pictured on her talk show in 2017)
The Firework hitmaker added: ‘I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought 2/2 to the world through her platform for decades.
‘Sending you love & a hug, friend @TheEllenShow.’ (sic)
Katy, who is currently expecting her first child with fiancé Orlando Bloom, 43, has been interviewed by her pal on the show numerous times, with the musician marking her last appearance in September 2019.
The host, who has fronted her programme since 2003, has been in the centre of headlines ever since former employees claimed that bullying, racism and sexual harassment were commonplace while working on the show.
Defend: The pregnant singer, 35, took to Twitter on Tuesday to praise the 62-year-old broadcaster’s ‘continual fight for equality’ (pictured with her wife Portia de Rossi in 2013)
Her stance: The songstress insisted she had ‘only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen and on the show’ in an impassioned statement
Earlier in the week, Ellen’s wife Portia de Rossi broke silence on the scandal as she thanked fans for ‘standing’ with the TV icon.
The Arrested Development actress, 47, shared a graphic that read ‘I stand by Ellen’ on social media, alongside the caption: ‘To all our fans….we see you. Thank you for your support.’
Her hashtags continued to send a message, reading: ‘#stopbotattacks, #IStandWithEllenDeGeneres, #IStandByEllen, and #IstandByEllenDeGeneres.’ (sic)
Portia, who has been married to Ellen for 12 years, also added ‘#bekindtooneanother,’ which is how DeGeneres closes every episode of her show.
Under fire: The host is facing an investigation over allegations of racism, bullying and fostering a ‘toxic environment’ behind the scenes of her eponymous talk show (pictured in January)
By her side: Earlier in the week, actress Portia, 47, broke silence on the scandal as she thanked fans for ‘standing’ with the TV icon (pictured in January)
Kindness counts: The Arrested Development star who has been married to Ellen for 12 years, shared a graphic that read ‘I stand by Ellen’ on social media
DJ Samantha Ronson has also publicly stuck up for the embattled star as she took to Twitter on Monday.
She wrote: ‘Unpopular opinion: I’ve worked for @TheEllenShow as a dj, for her parties, for years and she has ALWAYS been respectful and kind to me.’ (sic)
The British artist, 42, responded to social media users who noted the way Ellen treated her – a member of the famous Ronson family – was not reflective of the way she behaved toward those of a lower profile.
‘I knew this was coming, but you’d be surprised by how many people are super rude when you become someone they are writing a cheque to,’ she said. ‘It’s super disappointing.’
Sharing her side: DJ Samantha Ronson has also publicly stuck up for the embattled star as she took to Twitter on Monday (pictured in November)
Candid: The British artist, 42, wrote: ‘Unpopular opinion: I’ve worked for @TheEllenShow as a dj, for her parties, for years and she has ALWAYS been respectful and kind to me.’ (sic)
‘It’s disappointing’: Sam responded to social media users who noted the way Ellen treated her was not reflective of the way she behaved toward those of a lower profile
Last week, Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands shared his thoughts on the matter, claiming the accusations recently levelled against Ellen by staff were ‘a bit unfair’.
Speaking on The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Friday, the 49-year-old said: ‘You know what these things are like… It’s never the star that goes on and insists these things happen. It’s always the idiots that are around them.
‘Producers mainly, publicists, they’ve really got an attitude problem. And I know what they’re trying to do. The publicists, they make these stars look like a***holes, and not on purpose.’
Comedian Brad Garrett, meanwhile, alleged mistreatment on the show ‘comes from the top’.
Surprise comment: Last week, Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands shared his thoughts on the matter, claiming the accusations recently levelled against Ellen by staff were ‘a bit unfair’
Bold: Comedian Brad Garrett, meanwhile, alleged mistreatment on the show ‘comes from the top’
His experience: The stand-up star, 60, said: ‘Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.’ (sic)
‘Common knowledge’: Actress Lea Thompson (pictured above in 2019) backed his statement as she said in response: ‘True story. It is.’ (sic)
In a bold Twitter post, the stand-up star, 60, said: ‘Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge.’ (sic)
Although the voice actor was a six-time guest on series between 2004 and 2007, he didn’t list any specific allegation against the comedian.
Lea Thompson backed his statement as she said in response: ‘True story. It is.’ (sic)
Late last month, Ellen wrote a substantial memo to her employees, saying that she and Warner Bros. are ‘taking steps, together, to correct the issues.’
One current and ten former employees of the daytime chat show accused its three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’
The executive producers issued a statement saying: ‘We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.’
Lassner also tweeted: ‘Nobody is going off the air.’
Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him.
Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague.
Allegations: Executive producers (left to right) Jonathan Norman, Kevin Lenman and Ed Glavin were accused by over 30 former employees of sexual misconduct
And Ed, an executive producer, allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees.
The former staffers told BuzzFeed News they believe Ellen knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.
Leman and Norman have denied all allegations. Glavin has not addressed the claim publicly yet but is stepping down from his position, according to Variety.
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – that has never taken the time to say hi to me,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’
Warner Bros., the studio that runs the show, has declined to comment on the sexual harassment allegations, citing an ongoing internal investigation.
Ellen said she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees in the staff-wide memo from last week.
‘On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry,’ Ellen said in the memo.
‘As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t,’ she added. ‘That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’
But multiple staff members at the show tell DailyMail.com they are not buying Ellen’s apology and are calling on her to call it quits.
One staffer said, ‘She’s only addressing this now because the publicity is so bad for her and her BS brand of happiness and kindness. Ellen can throw everyone else under the bus, but the buck stops with her.
‘Whenever she’d tell viewers to choose kindness, I’d throw up a little in my mouth because she always chose the opposite,’ they added.
Among the allegations was one made by a black woman who claimed she suffered a number of ‘microaggressions,’ her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of ‘walking around looking resentful and angry’ after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee alleged they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
Our source said: ‘She was happy to put her name on the show, yet she let those three executive producers do whatever they wanted. The fish rots from the head and Ellen and the three of them are now rotting.’
They also claimed Ellen and her executive producers will be on a ‘witch hunt’ now to find who spoke out against them.
‘Don’t think for a second that there won’t be a witch hunt to find out who went public with the worst kept secret in television,’ they said. ‘Ellen is mean. She’ll want vengeance for all of this coming out.’
A popular claim that has circulated is that staff members were instructed not to speak to Ellen, and our source corroborated that claim.
‘She kept herself isolated from the staff. You can’t go up and talk to her, heck, you can’t even get within a mile of her on the lot,’ they said.
Current employees are now calling on Ellen to call it quits.
‘Warner Bros should cancel our show or swap her out for a fun celebrity host. Viewers have been fed lies for years. The Ellen you see on TV is disingenuous and inauthentic. She’s a horrible person who has done nothing to support 99% of the people who work for her.
‘Yet they won’t cancel it as all they care about is money and the show is a cash cow.
‘It’s time for Ellen to leave TV. She’s done enough damage. They should replace her with someone wonderful like Jen Aniston. She’s always a dream when she comes by – gracious, kind and funny and we’re actually allowed to look her in the eyes!!’
A Wednesday report by Us Weekly claims the scandal is uniting staff behind-the-scenes.
‘They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story,’ a source claims to the publication. ‘They’re loving that the truth – which has been an open secret for years in the industry – is finally receiving more interest.’
Taking over? Sources say DailyMail.com Jennifer Aniston (pictured) is in the running to take over the show from Ellen after calls for her to quit
Successors? Kristen Bell (L) and Melissa McCarthy (R) are also reportedly being looked at as a potential new host for the coveted daytime talk show spot
A source initially told Buzzfeed that the executive producers feel that ‘everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there: ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.”
Our source said: ‘Many of us have a theory that Ellen behaves this way as a mechanism to protect herself. She was so damaged when her sitcom was canceled after she came out that she chose to keep people at a distance in order not to get hurt should this show be canceled. Yet 17 seasons later it’s still on the air and she’s so powerful now she thought she could do whatever she wanted.’
One staffer told DailyMail.com: ‘Even though our show is crumbling around us, it’s liberating for everything to come out into the open.’
Ellen DeGeneres’ memo to her staff addressing mistreatment allegations
Hey everybody — it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me. It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice.
We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then. Stay safe and healthy.
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