Ellen's terrified staff asked Aussie TV exec 'not to talk, approach or even look at her' during interview
He also shared that Ellen's crew dictated everything from the seating to the lighting as well as how the interview would work
A senior executive from Australia's 'Today' show revealed that he was told not to look at or even speak to Ellen DeGeneres when she had appeared on the show back in 2013. The executive, Neil Breen, who currently has his own show, said that Ellen's staff had been the only ones who were allowed to interact and speak with her and 'walked on eggshells' around her.
They would also laugh loudly at her jokes during the interview, so much so that they were asked to be quiet. He also shared that Ellen's crew had been very dominating and dictated everything from the seating to the lighting as well as how the interview would work. Breen shared that he had found the entire situation rather 'bizarre'. His comments follow news reports of Ellen's show coming under internal investigation over allegations and accusations of racism, bullying and a 'toxic environment' behind the scenes of her talk show.
While speaking to radio station 4BC, where he is currently the host, Breen said that around seven years ago when Ellen had done a tour of Australia, she was supposed to co-host the 'Today' show but the plan kept changing and was watered down by her team. Later it was decided that Ellen would do a sit-down interview with show host Richard Wilkins in Melbourne which meant that the production of the show had to be shifted from Sydney at the show's expense.
Breen recalled how he and Wilkins arrived at 'one of the plush hotels in Melbourne' on the day of the interview to be met by a lot of people from Ellen's crew. He shared, "the producer called us aside and said, 'Now Neil, no one is 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 and then Ellen will leave.' And I sort of said, 'Are you fair dinkum? I can't look at her?' I found the whole thing bizarre," he added.
Speaking of Ellen, he said, "I have no idea whether she's a nice person or not, I wouldn't have a clue. But I can tell you the people who work with her walked on eggshells the whole time. We're there to do an interview to promote what she's doing, but you can't look at her? Someone get real." Earlier this month, many employees from 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' had described it as a 'toxic work environment'. One current and ten ex-employees accused three executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner of 'bullying'.
An insider spoke to Buzzfeed and said, "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'," the source added.