From Caring to Canceled: The Fall of Ellen DeGeneres
Though Ellen DeGeneres is not a new name by any means, 2020 has her headlining week after week. But this is not the kind of publicity that anyone would want as a daytime show host. Here we have a breakdown of the decline of Ellen. From happy, generous, and giving to hostile, horrible, and harassing... what happened? Has this been going on all along or is this truly a new era?
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003-present)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been running since 2003 and has seen its fair share of celebrities, changes, and time in the spotlight. While the show has been wildly popular among viewers, it wasn't as popular for the talent that came on to be interviewed.
Dutch beauty vlogger, NikkiTutorials, spoke out in February about her experience on the show. She described Ellen as, "cold and distant" and claims she didn't say hello or introduce herself before the show. She found out quickly that status has a lot to do with how each guest is treated. Though she is wildly known on YouTube and in the beauty community, she was treated very differently than the "A-List" celebrities there that day. She was not given a private toilet to use, which all other celebrities are guaranteed, and couldn't even use the closest one to her because it was reserved for another star. While these may seem like mediocre things to complain about, she wasn't being treated the same as the American celebrities.
In April, a tweet was released asking for stories about how Ellen DeGeneres really is and the response was more than anyone was expecting. The tweet got over 2,000 responses from a variety of stars and employees saying their truth about Ellen. Some of the stories included a bowl of gum she would keep outside of her dressing room that people had to chew before talking to her, since she had a "sensitive nose". If she felt like you smelled, you were sent home to shower.
To top it off, she even used fan-work as a prop, but did not advertise it as such. In addition, she apparently dictates what employees eat while at work, reports any employee that makes direct eye contact with her, and even fired an autistic custodian after he greeted her. For someone who preaches the motto, "be kind to one another", she is definitely not living up to her own words.
While all of these stories came out in 2020, not everything Ellen has done was off-camera. There are plenty of uncomfortable and borderline insulting things that Ellen has done with the lights and camera running. Back in 2008, Mariah Carey was a guest on the show. Ellen confronted her with pregnancy allegations and after she would not confirm that information, Ellen pulled out a bottle of champagne and forced her to participate to prove she wasn't. Mariah held it up to her mouth and pretended to sip to get her to stop pressing the issue. She ended up having a miscarriage weeks later. As a host, you are supposed to get news while making your guests comfortable. There was nothing comfortable about that.
Mariah was not the only guest that audiences cringed over. Sofia Vergara has been on the show multiple times over the years and even though she claims that she did not take personal offense to the bits, guests have started to catch on to the racist remarks and are not too happy about it. Sofia is Colombian and her first language is Spanish. Her thick American accent has become a trademark of her fame in the United States. While most people would not draw attention to it, Ellen made her accent a bit on her show going as far as to make a segment called, "Word of the Day" where she teaches Sofia an English word. One Twitter user summed up everyone's discontent perfectly.
“I understand that Sofia Vergara tweeted that she was ‘in on the joke’ with Ellen making fun of her English but I don’t think that’s the reason everyone was mad. It’s the way white people, who only speak one language, have the audacity to mock POC about their accent.”
Whether intentional or not, when your comedy platform is on a daytime talk show, there need to be limits in place to remain a safe place for both the viewers and guests.
Mistreating of Employees
During the summer of 2020, news broke out accusing The Ellen DeGeneres Show of being a hostile work environment. Core crew members spoke out about the lack of communication about their positions or the future of the show during the pandemic. They were unsure if they would be getting paid during the following weeks or still have a job at all. In contrast to the show's competitors, the show was not professional or compassionate to their long-standing, loyal crew.
Employees spoke out about the harassment and mistreatment that occurred behind the cameras of the popular television show, and a lot of the criticism was directed towards the star of the show herself. In July, the WarnerBros. company launched an investigation to evaluate the workplace culture by interviewing both current and past employees. Ellen made a statement to her staff claiming she was, "disappointed to learn" that some of the crew felt disrespected or unappreciated in that environment. However, she did not directly refer to any of the allegations that were against her personally.
Stars, and former guests of the show, started responding to the tweets claiming that Ellen mistreating people was "common knowledge" in the industry. But not all celebrities are slandering her. Some celebrities have stuck their necks out on social media to highlight the good personal experiences that they have had with her or have reminded people of all the good things her show has brought to many people (*reminder: most of these claims came from A-List celebrities that were most likely treated differently than the average crew member).
Peoples Choice Awards (2020)
On November 15, 2020, The Ellen DeGeneres Show won the award for "Best Daytime Talk Show" at the People's Choice Awards, which is supposedly an award show based solely on fans' votes. This was a massive shock to viewers everywhere who recalled all the events that took place this year. Rumors followed directly after the award was announced, accusing the network of buying the award for her. Many believe that they bought the award to create the illusion that people have moved on and forgiven her for all the controversy that came out just this year, but Twitter was not buying it. Within seconds of her receiving the award, Twitter blew up enraged that she won. In her speech, she made sure to thank her, "amazing crew" because she couldn't have done it without them. It was very apparent that her PR team constructed the speech and no one was buying it.
What can we say? This is a lot to stomach as viewers of the show and even more shocking for the guests, we imagine. Which accusation surprised you the most? Do you believe The Ellen DeGeneres Show will survive 2020? Comment down below.