After the scandal that has hit Ellen DeGeneres’ popular daytime talk show, a former producer has now come out slamming the comedian as a “toxic host” on Monday. Hedda Muskat, who worked on the sets in 2003-04, has alleged about toxic work environment which was present behind the scenes and blamed one of television’s famous faces Ellen DeGeneres for allowing a “culture of fear” from the show’s beginning. This allegation came in at a time when numerous current and former employees from The Ellen DeGeneres Show have accused its top executives in sexual and workplace misconduct.
Muskat, who won two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work on the show, revealed the past experiences with executive producer Ed Glavin and his inappropriate behaviour which was reportedly overlooked by DeGeneres, The Wrap reported.
Talking about one incident involving Glavin, who is one of three show executives who have been accused of sexual misconduct, Muskat explained how he reportedly started screaming at a staff member and DeGeneres did nothing to stop such kind of misbehaviour. “She crossed her legs up on the chair and she said, ‘Well, I guess every production needs their dog,’” Muskat said. “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.”
“Ed was a bully, but he worked for Ellen,” Muskat said. “It was her show.”
What You Should Know
- Multiple sexual misconduct accusations have been reported from the employees and an internal investigation was launched in July.
- Netizens asked DeGeneres to step down from the show.
- Last week, the 62-year-old host herself spoke out to her staff, apologising for the unfortunate incidents.
- Following reports about the alleged toxic work environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the host DeGeneres' wife Portia de Rossi broke her silence.
What really happened
According to a Buzzfeed report in July, many ex-staffers have spoken out about several alleged incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment by top executives on the show. Another executive producer Kevin Leman is also accused of behaving inappropriately at a company party in 2013 and in May 2017 mentions Buzzfeed.
Following the allegations, a social media campaign called out the talk show and its host DeGeneres to step down for creating and supporting a hostile work environment for employees on the sets.
After the controversy erupted, actress Portia de Rossi, who is married to DeGeneres, broke her silence and posted an “I Stand By Ellen” hashtag on her Instagram account saying “To all our fans… we see you. Thank you for your support.” The former Ally McBeal actress and the comedian have been together for 12 years, News18 reported.
The famous show has won multiple Emmy Awards but recent complaints against the top management of racism and bullying have been making headlines. Last week, Warner Bros. confirmed that they are looking into the matter and conducting an internal investigation. Following this, DeGeneres emailed her staff personally apologising for the ordeal they had gone through. “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” DeGeneres wrote, Variety reported.
“I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros., we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again,” she added.
Muskat further said that her apology won’t “make a difference” because DeGeneres “is who she is.”
While DeGeneres has support from Scooter Braun, manager to stars like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato and other celebrities like Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras and DJ Samantha Ronson, many prominent stars are speaking against her as well. Everybody Loves Raymond actor, Brad Garrett called out the host and tweeted:
Feature Image Credit: WTHR