Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently apologized over allegations of her show’s “toxic” workplace. The criticism didn’t ebb with the host’s apology, however. Brad Garrett stepped up to claim that he knew multiple people who “were treated horribly by her,” and he further stated that toxicity “comes from the top.” Now, a former The Ellen Show producer has revealed her own experiences in working with the Emmy award-winning daytime talk series.
Hedda Muskat, who came aboard The Ellen Show in the early aughts (while it was being developed), spoke with The Wrap and accused Ellen of fostering a “culture of fear.” She also called Ellen a “toxic host” who merely “giggled” when executive producer Ed Glavin (who is now exiting the show following widespread accusations, including racist behavior) allegedly shouted at a crew member in front of the whole staff. The incident reportedly took place at a meeting, and Muskat alleges that Ellen responded like this:
“She crossed her legs up on the chair and she said, ‘Well, I guess every production needs their dog.’ And from then we knew. Ed was going to be the barking dog — her dog. You could just see everybody’s faces go stiff. We’re professionals; we’re adults. We don’t need a dog to get us to do our jobs… She was the only one giggling.”
For this incident, Maskat points the finger more at Ellen than Ed (“Ed was a bully, but he worked for Ellen. It was her show). She further related how Glavin asked her to give him a list of all her producing “sources,” and when she refused to do so (she told The Wrap, “I’ve worked 18 years to build these sources. Those sources are why you hired me”), she felt as though that was a turning point, and “I was really on everybody’s sh*t list.” Shortly thereafter, Muskat says she received less responsibility and was let go (in 2004) after only about a year in her producing position.
Muskat’s account follows a Buzzfeed investigative report, in which multiple employees alleged that Ellen’s “Be Kind” mantra rang false behind the scenes. This led to her public apology and her announcement of an internal investigation and promises to correct the issues. In the meantime, people are taking sides.
On Twitter, comedian Kevin Porter called Ellen “notoriously one of the meanest people alive.” He encouraged people to share “insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean” in exchange for his donations to the LA Food Bank.
Right now we all need a little kindness. You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about! 😊❤️
She’s also notoriously one of the meanest people alive
Respond to this with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean & I’ll match every one w/ $2 to @LAFoodBank
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) March 20, 2020
Whereas Ellen’s wife, Portia de Rossi, Instagrammed an “I Stand By Ellen” graphic with the following caption: “To all our fans….we see you. Thank you for your support.”