To the millions of fans who tune into her eponymous talk show on a daily basis, Ellen DeGeneres is not only a top-tier comic, she’s a kind and warm-hearted individual who truly cares about the charity workers and other do-gooders she routinely invites on her show.
But new reports from those who have worked with the daytime queen over the course of her show’s 17-year run paint a very different picture.
Like every major network talk show host, Ellen has been broadcasting a stripped-down version of her show from her home ever since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Unlike her comedian colleagues, however, DeGeneres has allegedly cut off contact with the crew that helped turn the studio version of her show into a ratings juggernaut.
According to a report from Variety, it was only after repeated phone calls to Ellen’s co-producers that staff were able to gather some information about their salaries and future employment.
And when the staff finally received a response to their inquiries, it seems they did not like what they heard.
Crew members “received no written communication about the status of their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their mental and physical health from producers for over a month, said two sources, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity,” Variety reports.
And after weeks of uncertainty, “nearly all crew members were told last week to brace for a 60% reduction in pay, even as the show continues to air,” the report continues.
DeGeneres has a reported net worth ofn $330 million, and she earns roughly $50 million a year from her talk show.
A one-woman media empire, Ellen also hosts the popular Game of Games game show that airs during prime time.
Ratings for her talk show have remained consistent during the lockdown, meaning there’s no reason to suspect that her sky-high earnings will be diminished even in the slightest.
Despite all of this, it seems her crew will suffer a decrease in pay that’s likely to prove catastrophic for many.
All of this comes on the heels of a new report of Ellen’s infamous rudeness on set.
For years, allegations of that Ellen has been haunted by rumors that her boisterous and personable demeanor is a facade.
Now, insiders say “the mask is starting to slip.”
Dutch beauty blogger Nikkie de Jager — known on YouTube as NikkieTutorials — appeared on Ellen back in January, and she describes the experience as a deeply unpleasant one that left her with the impression that Ellen’s apparent kindness is merely a charade.
“Call me naive, but I kind of expected to be welcomed with confetti cannons,” de Jager told a Dutch magazine this week.
“But instead I was greeted by an angry intern who was a bit overworked. I was expecting a Disney show, but I got Teletubbies after dark.”
de Jager says Ellen “didn’t even say hello” to her before the interview segment, and she was given rude instructions from an intern regarding which bathroom she would be permitted to use.
“Every guest at Ellen’s had a private toilet, but I didn’t,” de Jager claimed.
“I was not allowed to use the nearest toilet because it was reserved for the Jonas Brothers.”
Adding to the cruelty of the bathroom situation is the fact that de Jager is trans and was forcibly outed earlier this year after being blackmailed.
Ellen is no stranger to controversy, of course.
In recent years, she’s been criticized for buddying up to George W. Bush and defending homophobic tweets from fellow comic Kevin Hart.
But the latest allegations could signal major trouble for DeGeneres’ public image going forward.
“The behavior that’s been revealed about Ellen is rat poison to the Ellen DeGeneres brand,” brand expert Eric Schiffer tells Fox News.
“When you have a brand like Ellen’s leak information that is 180 degrees different than this facade she’s been painting, it creates a dumpster fire on her image and it’s like watching the Hindenburg.”
In all likelihood, Ellen’s career and talk show will survive this latest round of damaging reports.
But if this type of information continues to surface, at some point the damage to her reputation may prove irreparable.
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