As investigations kick off into the reported toxic culture on the set of The Ellen Show, a former producer on Australia’s Today Show has revealed what it was like when Ellen DeGeneres was Down Under.
Neil Breen, said former producer who is now the host of radio station 4BC, revealed Ellen’s list of wild demands.
“[Ellen’s] producers called us aside … and said, ‘Now, Neil, no one is to talk to Ellen. You don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her,’” he said.
The demands came after Ellen’s staff already had “watered down” her appearance on Today from a spot co-hosting the Sydney-based show to doing just a sit-down interview in Melbourne, which meant the production had to relocate from Sydney to Melbourne with fuck all notice, Breen said.
“‘She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard [Wilkins] and then Ellen will leave.’ And I sort of said, ‘I can’t look at her?’ I found the whole thing bizarre,” he added.
He also said her team controlled how the interview would be conducted, from lighting to seating. Breen said he couldn’t tell what type of person DeGeneres was, as he “never got to talk to her.”
“I have no idea whether she’s a nice person or not, I wouldn’t have a clue,” he added. “But I can tell you the people who worked with her walked on eggshells the whole time, and the whole thing was totally bizarre.
“We’re there to do an interview to promote what she’s doing, but you can’t look at her? Someone get real.”
After the investigation into the culture on the set of the long-running daytime talk show kicked off, Ellen personally addressed her staff with an apology letter, Variety reveals.
DeGeneres acknowledged a culture that did not reflect the values with which she started, and promised to do better.
“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,” DeGeneres wrote.
Dakota Johnson (arguably the woman that kicked off the takedown) with Degeneres.
“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,” she continued.