Celebs – just because Ellen was nice to you it doesn't mean she was to everyone
Much like Taylor Swift had her Bad Blood girl squad back in the day, it seems Ellen DeGeneres also has her own celebrity inner circle group chat going.
Like clockwork, Tuesday August 4 saw a flood of stars taking to social media to make a show of public support for their Emmy Award winning friend, who has found her daytime TV crown slipping for the first time.
After Twitter speculation and stories being swapped over how Ellen apparently wasn’t the beacon of kindness we see dancing on our screens, an investigation by BuzzFeed laid bare concerning allegations levelled at senior staff behind the scenes on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
A black employee claims a senior-level producer joked they would confuse her with another black woman because they both had braids. Others claim they were fired after taking sick leave or going to family funerals.
One former employee alleges they were told to take down their GoFundMe page for medical costs not covered by the company’s health insurance over concerns it might affect DeGeneres’ brand.
Now, none of the allegations made in the report are against Ellen herself, although former employees called for her to take responsibility over the brand that bears her name (she has since sent a letter of apology to staff over the alleged toxic environment).
But that hasn’t stopped the rumours that DeGeneres has contributed to said toxicity.
Back in March, comedian Kevin T Porter said he would donated $2 to a food bank for every alleged story about Ellen being mean that was shared. He ended up donating $600.
YouTuber NikkieTutorials claimed Ellen didn’t say hello to her when she was a guest on her show, while Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett claimed that he knew multiple people who were ‘treated horribly’ by DeGeneres herself.
And Tony Okungbowa, who worked as a DJ on Ellen said he experienced ‘toxicity’ while on the show.
Nevertheless, those who have previously had their work promoted by Ellen and mingled with the comedian at A-list award shows and shared wholesome laughs with her on daytime TV came out to stress that she had never ever been unkind to people not on her payroll, no siree.
Villains aren’t villainous towards everybody. Dictators treat their friends and allies to the finest of lifestyles. School bullies can be darlings to teachers. Your cruel ex was beloved by their friends. And often, high profile figures can be outwardly kind and revered, while the little guy is trodden on behind the scenes.
I’m not saying that all the allegations against Ellen are true. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. But that’s the whole point.
None of the stars were there for any of the alleged instances, yet by insisting ‘Well, I have never been treated badly’, they are invalidating the experiences of others, whether they mean to or not.
Celebrities can pretend they’re just like the rest of us all they want, but by pretending their experience of a fellow A-lister is the same as that of an average worker reeks of privilege.
Whether or not the allegations of meanness are true, it is highly unlikely that DeGeneres treats every nameless employee the same as she treats Kevin Hart on her daytime show, or Ashton Kutcher at the Teen Choice Awards.
They’re not spending hours every day working for her brand. They’re not the ones allegedly losing their income for complaining about toxic work environments under DeGeneres’s name.
I don’t think any of her friends are lying, I’m sure that Ellen has always been kind to them, but that is not what is being argued here. It’s how she treats people who aren’t her high profile friends that is the issue.
By using their massive platforms to place Ellen on a pedestal, her celebrity pals are making this whole situation, with their privilege drowning out the voices of people who were silenced for years.
I understand that when bad things are being said about your friends, you want to defend them.
But in this case, it’s time for the celebs to shut up and listen.
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