Earlier this year, several media outlets reported on allegations of Ellen DeGeneres engaging in cruel and abusive behavior toward her staff throughout her time on television.
As the weeks went on, more colleagues and underlings came forward with accounts of being mistreated by a woman who’s built a billion-dollar brand by portraying herself as a paragon of kindness and compassion.
Now, the New York Post has published the accounts of several more Ellen staffers who say they were mistreated during their time on the show.
“The stories are all true,” a former employee of Ellen’s long-running daytime talk show told the Post.
“Is she always nice? No,” the former staffer continued.
“It irritates me that people think she’s all sweetness and light and she gets away with it.”
The Post also spoke with a bodyguard who was charged with protecting DeGeneres when she hosted the Academy Awards in 2014.
“Ellen pretty much just gave me a side glance out of her eye and didn’t even say ‘hello,’ or ‘thank you for protecting my mother, my wife and me,’” Tom Majercak said.
“It was very cold and it was very sly and it was actually kind of demeaning in the way that she treats people other than those who are in her circle.”
Podcaster Kevin T. Porter who was among the first to call Ellen out for her mistreatment of others stated that the host’s belittling behavior has long been something of an “open secret” in Hollywood.
“There’s always been this whisper network about her notorious behavior."
A former producer on Ellen’s show recalled an incident from several years ago that highlighted the extent of the host’s privilege.
The anonymous staffer says DeGeneres lost her glasses on set one day, and she promptly placed a phone call to one of the most iconic innovators in American history.
“She stopped everything and made a call,” the producer said.
“Next thing we know, we literally hear [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs pick up and say ‘Hi, Ellen’ … Ellen told him the iPhone should have a bigger font." he added.
"That’s her. It’s not that she’s some demon. She just lives in an incredibly privileged bubble and is out of touch with the real world.”
Of course, there’s "out of touch" and then there’s "call the CEO of Apple and make demands for the next iPhone software update, all because you lost your glasses."
Some have gone so far as to claim they felt abused or bullied by Ellen, but for the most part, the behavior described by accusers is along the lines of the Jobs anecdote — depressing reminders of what can happen when insecurity and extreme privilege collide.
Here’s hoping Ellen will take this opportunity to engage in some serious self-reflection and consider the ways in which she can be better to the people around her.