Ellen DeGeneres has decided to end her daytime talk show, which has faltered in the ratings after allegations of a toxic workplace environment where top producers engaged in a wide range of sexual misconduct with lower-level employees.
An award-winning former producer for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has opened up about what she said is a toxic atmosphere on the set of the show.
Representatives for the show did not immediately return requests for comment, but in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, DeGeneres said her upcoming 19th season will be the last. She also framed the decision around the show no longer being a creative challenge.
Two-time Emmy Award-winning producer Hedda Muskat told Australian show “Sunrise” host Natalie Barr that she believes DeGeneres “duped” her fans and viewers into believing that she is a “nice person.”
“The viewers have spoken,” Muskat said of the show’s cancellation. “Her ratings have been in the toilet for a long, long time now, her show has not been fun, it has not been interesting, and she’s not, really, by the way, stepping down. The viewers fired her.”
She also said that the famed show host and longtime actress and comedienne isn’t as genteel as she would have everyone believe.
“I don’t think the show’s demise is because of the viewers’ loyalty to the employees, because let’s face it; as employees we endure hardship from the workplace all the time,” Muskat reasoned. “I think the the viewers are disappointed in the phoniness she’s been projecting as this ‘nice person.’ So I feel that the viewers feel duped, in a way, that she’s not this nice person. The viewers are not going to put up with the backstage racism that goes on and the backstage bullying that goes on. So I think the viewers have woken up, finally.”
Muskat said that she was first hired in 2003 and was responsible for booking human interest guests on the show.
“When I would go in to pitch Ellen who we have on the show today for our production meetings, she looked away. She showed no interest with any of the news-breaking stories,” she recalled. “She really showed a lot of despise for a lot of my people that we were pitching to her, which is fine. It’s a pitch. I don’t care about that.”
“But,” the former producer continued, “But we had to walk on eggshells with her because when we would be pitching, her snide remarks would be, ‘What am I going to talk to them about? I don’t know. I have nothing to say. I don’t know.’ So we would write the whole outline for her and then the guests would walk off feeling like crap. So it wasn’t goodwill for the show.”
Celebrities, however, were a different breed, Muskat said.
“She loved kissing ass with all of the celebrities and she really was not in a position to interview the real people because she couldn’t really carry a conversation with them,” she said.
When asked where she would like to see DeGeneres turn up after her show’s dust settles, Muskat said, “I’d like to see her work on a farm where she can relate with all of the animals, and the pets, and the dogs, and the cows, and the pigs, because she can relate to animals far more than she does with people.”
Muskat said that her own personal experience was shared by at least “over a hundred employees” that worked on the production over nearly two decades.
“I was not able to have any connection with her, make any eye contact, and here’s the thing: It’s not just me, or three of us; there were over a hundred employees over the 19 years that walk away with with a sickened feeling about working there,” she admitted. “As much as I loved my job as a booker and producer, I was almost relieved when I got fired. I wanted to take a shower; it was like a whole new dawn.”
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