'Ellen DeGeneres Show' crew WILL get paid but for reduced hours, Warner Bros blames 'lockdown chaos'
We are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind, a spokesperson for Warner Bros said
Warner Bros. Television has denied a report claiming that crew members of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' have been left in the lurch, with many uncertain about their compensation in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
The crew members of the popular daytime talk show, consisting of more than 30 people, are enraged over their treatment from top producers, according to a Friday report by Variety. The crew has alleged that they received no communication about the status of their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their mental and physical health from producers for over a month. One source told the outlet the higher-ups in the production would sometime receive their calls but reveal little about the status of their show or compensation. 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' is produced by a division of Warners Bros called Telepictures.
The outlet cited anonymous sources saying that the crew was also disconcerted by the show's decision to hire an outside, non-union company to assist DeGeneres in taping the show remotely from her home. The comedian and talk-show host, in her recent social media posts, revealed that she has been self-quarantining with family members at her Santa Barbara estate. Reports state that only four core crew members currently work on the remote version of the broadcast.
The allegations, however, were denied by the studio, as a spokesperson in a statement to the outlet said that the crew had been paid consistently, although at reduced hours.
"Our executive producers and Telepictures are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind," the spokesperson said.
The studio, however, acknowledged that its communications with the crew could have been better and blamed the confusion on the chaos surrounding the novel coronavirus and related restrictions in place to curb its spread.
The trade magazine, in its report, had stated that the show's crew members, including lighting, camera operators, and grips, were left in the dark about how much they compensation they would be given during the early weeks of the virus outbreak. They alleged that they were blindsided when DeGeneres had a remote set installed at her residence, which they learned about via social media. They reportedly learned about the arrangement through social media. Nearly no communication from the producers created anxiety among crew members who were afraid that they would be furloughed would have to resort to explore unemployment benefits.
It was also reported that crew members were upset after learning that DeGeneres was expanding her output from hosting four shows a week to five, without any official word given to them from the producers. The outlet reported that the crew was last paid in full for the week of March 16, when the Warner Bros. lot, located in Burbank, closed down amid social distancing measures in the wake of coronavirus. Sources told the outlet that almost all of the show's crew members were reportedly informed last week that they should brace for nearly 60 percent reduction in pay even as the show continues to air.