Strap yourselves in for an epic dose of Ellen DeGeneres drama because this one goes beyond the recent narratives of her being unable to read the room and being mean to people. Here’s the tea: crew members from The Ellen DeGeneres Show have called out the TV host and the show’s producers for their alleged poor treatment of staff during the COVID-19 lockdown.
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According to an explosive report from Variety, the core stage crew for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which numbers over 30 employees, have apparently been given no communication from the show’s producers in regards to their employment status and the wellbeing for “over a month,” save for the occasional phone call that barely reveals anything.
You’d think that there’s no reason for the crew to call Ellen DeGeneres and her producers out seeing as how the show is still being made at her Hollywood mansion while everything is under lockdown. However, it is reported that production on Ellen’s home shows are being handled by an “outside, non-union tech company” rather than her usual crew.
Out of the dozens of core crew members employed, only four are reportedly working on the TV host’s home shows. This sort of treatment has unsurprisingly pissed off Ellen DeGeneres’ staff, many of whom are finding her “be kind” mantra to be quite hypocritical.
Variety reports that crew members were left in the dark for weeks as to how much they were to be paid and whether they were going to be laid off or furloughed. This silence from Ellen and the show’s producers caused anxiety among the crew members as they didn’t know whether they would need to find new jobs.
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Salt was rubbed in the wound as many of the crew members only realised that the home version of The Ellen Degeneres Show was a thing through social media rather than through their bosses and producers.
When the producers finally got in touch with the core crew members, they were told to brace for a 60 percent pay cut despite the show still airing from Ellen’s house. Apropos of nothing, Ellen DeGeneres’ net worth is reportedly around $330 million. Just saying.
Even at that point, the messaging was inconsistent. A spokesperson for Ellen’s show said pay will be reduced to “8 hours from 10 hours per work day for the week of the 30th [of March],” yet there was also murmurs the crew would be restored to their full four-day work weeks.
Beyond the lack of communication and personal outreach from Ellen DeGeneres and the show’s producers, the crew’s shock at their treatment was amplified after talking to colleagues from other talk shows. It is reported that staff members on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and Full Frontal With Samantha Bee all received transparent communications and were paid their full rates.
It’s interesting to note that when Ellen made her big return to the airwaves from her Hollywood mansion on April 7, she told viewers that she was doing it for “my staff and crew. I love them, I miss them, the best thing I can do to support them is to keep the show on the air.”
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