Ellen DeGeneres is defending herself once again. The 62-year-old talk show host claimed that she is “introverted” after staffers revealed that the comedian wouldn’t look people in the eyes while they were on set. “I don’t know where it started,” DeGeneres reportedly said on a Zoom call on August 18, a source told Page Six. “Please talk to me. Look at me in the eye.”
The Finding Dory star called the rule “insane.” She added, “It’s crazy, just not true, I don’t know how it started. It’s not who I am.”
In July 2020, Neil Breed — a former producer on Australia’s Today show — detailed his encounter with DeGeneres in 2013. “Ellen DeGeneres’ producers 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,” he said.
“She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard and then Ellen will leave,” he recalled. “And I sort of said, ‘I can’t look at her?’ I found the whole thing bizarre.”
DeGeneres admitted she is “introverted” and has “good days and bad days” — which is something that could be misinterpreted when engaging with the A-list celebrity. “Does that mean I’m perfect? No. I’m not,” she reportedly said. “I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and try to learn from my mistakes.”
Moving forward, executive producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt will lead the talk show.
In July 2020, BuzzFeed News spoke with former staffers from The Ellen DeGeneres Show, who shared their experiences about the “toxic” time on set. In response, DeGeneres addressed the allegations and issued an apology.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” she wrote.
“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” she added. “And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”