Radio Host Opens Up About Ellen DeGeneres’ Staff’s Demands: ‘Don’t Talk to,’ ‘Approach’ or ‘Look at’ Her

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Ellen Degeneres has been in the media for all the wrong reasons recently. 

Following a slew of reports that both DeGeneres and the producers behind her highly-rated talk show have not treated people working on the show in the best of ways, comes a stunning new allegation. 

Neil Breen, a radio host, has opened up about his experience with the show and its host. 

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“When Ellen DeGeneres came to Australia to do her show in 2013, I was the executive producer of the Today show, so we partnered with them,” Breen said on his radio show, 4BC Breakfast With Neil Breen, earlier this week. 

“Originally she was going to cohost the Today show, then she was going to do this, then she was going to do that," he continued.

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"The whole thing got watered down to Ellen DeGeneres would do a sit-down interview.”

Breen recalled his team traveling to Melbourne "at out expense" to set up the interview with DeGeneres that was to be conducted by Richard Wilkins. 

“Because it’s the Ellen show, they controlled everything. They controlled the interview seats, the lights, how it would work, everything,” Breen recalled.

“The producers called us aside and said, ‘This is how it’s going to work here this morning. Ellen’s going to arrive at 10:15, and she’ll be sitting in this chair."'

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"And Richard, you’ll be sitting in this chair here. Neil, no one’s to talk to Ellen. You don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her."

"'She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard, then Ellen will leave.’”

Ellen DeGeneres was once the crown jewel on daytime TV, but recent reports have not exactly painted her, or her show in the best of lights. 

It recently emerged that WarnerMedia was conducting an internal investigation into the show after several staffers came forward about mistreatment. 

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BuzzFeed News recently chatted with one current and 10 former employees, who opened up about their time with the show.

One African-American woman said she experienced what she described as "microaggressions" and was "reprimanded" by producer Ed Galvin.

This was allegedly in response to her asking for a raise, as well as asking that certain members of the staff should undergo diversity and inclusion training.

Another former spoke out about racist remarks by coworkers about her hairstyle.

She said that a senior-level producer told her and a fellow Black employee, "Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused."

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The people  quoted in the Buzzfeed article took aim at the producers of the show.

"People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that's not the problem," one ex-employee said, adding: "The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean."

"They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there: "‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we'll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'"

Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner recently opened up about the article.

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"Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment," they said.

"It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.

"For the record, the day-to-day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us.

"We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."

"We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience."

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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