We have all heard about how Ellen DeGeneres’ employees lived in constant fear while working in the toxic environment of The Ellen Show.
Now, a former producer from the development of the show explains why Ellen seemed so “nice” to most of her guests.
Producer Hedda Muskat was hired to work on The Ellen Show in 2003, back when it was still in development.
She described a culture of fear and verbal abuse that she witnessed — perpetuated by both producers and by Ellen herself.
She has already spoken about this, in interviews and on social media, but she has more to say.
“She [Ellen] was not friendly with people, that I noticed,” Hedda tells Australian radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O.
“The only people that she was friendly with were the A-list movie stars,” she recalls.
Hedda characterizes her former employer: “She’s a big kiss ass.”
“I was more emotionally abused,” Hedda has described her time on The Ellen Show.
Ultimately, she complained, she was “fired for no reason.:
According to Hedda: “They told me that they were just going to take the show in a different direction.”
“They ended up gave my job to a guy I trained,” Hedda lamented.
She described her replacement as a young man “who was about 24 years old and had no experience.”
Though this may happen to a lot of professional women at a lot of jobs, that does not make it more okay — kind of the opposite.
“When you walk into her office for example, to pitch her your segments, there was always a snarl,” Hedda recalls.
“I always felt that I was never welcomed in her office,” she expresses.
Explaining why she felt unwelcome, Hedda details: “She always hurried me.”
“Get to the point, get to the point,’ she said,” Hedda describes Ellen’s demeanor.
Obviously, this is a toxic way for anyone to behave towards another human being. It is even worse in the workplace.
That sort of behavior can cause creatives and other professionals to shut down and fosters a hostile work environment.
On her own, people might write off Hedda as a bitter former employee, even accuse her of lying about her experiences.
But her description of what it is like to work for Ellen and other producers is extremely consistent with what people have heard from almost everyone else.
Ellen, alongside other top producers, is accused of creating a toxic environment where employees’ emotional and mental health suffered under a barrage of insults, yelling, and threats to their careers.
Those in the service industry have “whispered” for years about how Ellen treated them.
Some waiters met “nice” Ellen. Others say that she got them fired over things as innocuous as chipped nail polish.
A man who recalls Ellen working in his mother’s office long before she was a household name says that she used to bully him, when he was 11 and she was an adult, calling him “stupid” and “fat.”
Ellen has been awarded for her work trailblazing for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. Her impact truly cannot be measured.
But that does not negate her alleged bad behavior. Arguably, it makes it worse.
But then, for a long time now, Ellen’s choices of how she uses her fame and her platform have alienated those who once shouted her praises.