Things aren’t looking good for daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. The Emmy Award-winning comedian has faced significant backlash after numerous guests of her show and employees have come forward with personal stories of negative encounters with DeGeneres. Even her former bodyguard shared that DeGeneres isn’t what she seems, which is disappointing to fans since she’s built her brand on a platform of kindness.
The crew who work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show first spoke up about unfair treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. A few months later in July 2020, Buzzfeed News interviewed DeGeneres’ current and former employees, who shed light on what several deemed a “toxic work environment.” In fact, former staff members told the outlet that they faced “racism, fear and intimidation.” In response to the allegations, WarnerMedia is conducting a workplace investigation, according to Variety.
Despite DeGeneres’ attempt at damage control through an apology — in addition to positive testimonials from her famous friends — information continues to come to light, confirming the “toxicity” of the day time talk show. Case in point? In August 2020, the former DJ for the show, DJ Tony, opened up about his time on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Needless to say, it wasn’t a glowing review. Keep reading to hear what he had to say.
Tony Okungbowa felt the 'toxicity of the environment'
Ellen DeGeneres’ former DJ, Tony Okungbowa (a.k.a DJ Tony), who worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for years, came forward on Instagram in August 2020 to detail his personal experience. “I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there.”
He continued: “I was on air talent from 2003-2006 and from 2007-2013. While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.”
The comments were full of praise and gratitude for Okungbowa’s honesty. One person wrote: “Thank you for speaking up!” While another commented: “You are such a shining soul and I applaud your honesty and strength.” Despite shedding some light on his time on the show, Okungbowa did not make it clear whether the “toxicity” stemmed from producers or DeGeneres herself.
While the talk show host is definitely dealing with some negative press at the moment, per Page Six, several celebrities have come forward in defense of DeGeneres, including Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, and of course, DeGeneres’ wife, Portia De Rossi.
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