A former camera assistant on The Ellen DeGeneres Show has claimed the program’s environment could be compared to the film The Devil Wears Prada because of the toxic work environment.
The anonymous former employee told that their year spent working there was tortuous.
‘I worked there for a little over a year,’ she said. ‘At the show there is a culture of competition. You are constantly reminded that the show is this behemoth, and it will be there with or without you.’
She said it reminded her of the 2006 film, in which Meryl Streep plays an offensive and demanding boss, rumored to be based on Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
‘It’s kind of like The Devil Wears Prada. Everyone is trying to make it to the [end of a] year.
‘It’s just a badge of honor to have that and have it on your resume.’
The woman, with an American accent, said it was ‘really disappointing’ that people were reluctant to believe the ‘victims’.
She said the film industry was ‘really hard’, and that the show was regularly on a ten-hour day.
‘But it’s more than that. It’s basic rights; being paid overtime, water on a hot day. If you ask for that, you’re told, well, there’s the door.’
She said it was ‘really unfair’ that people like Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom weigh in on how the employees are treated.
The former staffer told that people were not allowed in the same room as Ellen, and that she had never even met her. ‘Most people are told: “When Ellen enters the room, you and your entire crew need to leave.”
‘Sometimes her bodyguards come forward first and you kind of see them and you know to leave and that’s it.’
In recent months DeGeneres has been accused of racism and bullying, as well as fostering a ‘toxic environment’ behind the scenes.
The anonymous source said that Ellen probably has no idea of what’s going on in her own show at all.
‘Ellen has no idea who most of the staff are,’ she said. ‘She really has no idea who we are.’
A former producer, Hedda Muskat, said DeGeneres was a ‘toxic host’.
A past guest named Dana Dimatteo also previously claimed that Ellen snapped out of her kind character when the cameras are off.
Her wife, Portia de Rossi, defended her with a photo with the hashtag: ‘I stand by Ellen.’
Actor Kevin Hart has also spoken out to back his friend.
Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras and DJ Samantha Ronson also supported DeGeneres.
‘She makes the world a better place for millions of people everyday and we cannot hit her because something may have not been perfect,’ Figueras wrote on Instagram.
DeGeneres has apologized for the allegations in a letter sent to employees, and she admitted that she had to take responsibility as her name was at the top.
She added that as her program has grown, she had ‘not been able to stay on top of everything’ and had instead ‘relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done.’
DeGeneres wrote: ‘Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’