On Monday afternoon, DeGeneres, 62, held a Zoom call with staff. She addressed the unspoken rule that prevented anyone on set from looking her in the eye.
“I don’t know where it started,” DeGeneres said, Page Six reports. “Please talk to me. Look me in the eye.”
She reportedly described the rumored rule as “insane.” DeGeneres continued by adding, “It’s crazy, just not true, I don’t know how it started. [It’s] not who I am.”
In contrast to her comments, a former producer of Australia’s “Today” show says DeGeneres’ staff made “bizarre” demands before making an appearance in 2013. The former producer, Neil Breen, spoke out about the demands.
“‘She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard and then Ellen will leave,’” Breen said. “And I sort of said, ‘I can’t look at her?’ I found the whole thing bizarre.”
The “Ellen DeGeneres Show” Accusations, Ex-Employees Call the Set a “Toxic” Environment
The rumors circulating about the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” surfaced earlier this summer. Dozens of former employees for the daytime talk show accused producers of fostering a “toxic” environment. Many ex-staffers accused the senior executive producers of sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity.
Also on Monday, DeGeneres acknowledged the ongoing issues behind the scenes of the show.
“I’m so so sorry for what this has become. I’ve left this to be a well-oiled machine, and I realize it’s not a machine…its human beings,” her message reads, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I apologize for anyone who’s feelings I’ve hurt. I’m not perfect. I’m multi-layered and I learn from my mistakes. I care about each and every one of you. I’m grateful for each and every one of you.”
Learn more about the latest on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” here.
[H/T Page Six]