Embattled television talker Ellen DeGeneres has suffered another hit — this time with the leak of more questionable behind-the-scenes behavior! OK! has learned DeGeneres — who is facing allegations that her hit show is a “toxic work environment” — once fired an intern, on her first day, because she accidentally scratched her car!
Investigators at Warner Bros. have been told of the allegation after interviewing dozens of former and current employees about the show’s backstage environment.
A source told OK!: "Everyone in Hollywood wants to get their kids a summer internship at the Ellen show. Some of the most powerful parents in L.A. would call each summer to beg to get their kids a gig. But after one powerful parent was told yes, the dream job turned into a nightmare.”
The parent called the show’s Executive Producer, Andy Lassner, who was all too willing to help the privileged graduate with an internship. But it didn't last long.
“Everyone from staff to guests are driven around the lot in electronic golf carts,” said the source.
“When they are not in use, they are plugged in and charged. The intern had no idea the golf cart was still plugged in and hit the pedal hard. The charger came flying out and was dragged along the side of Ellen's fancy car! That intern was never seen again.”
Noted the source: “It’s Ellen’s way or the highway — and she insisted this intern be fired right away.”
What most do not know is that DeGeneres is even more obsessed with cars than another television icon, former late-night host Jay Leno. Indeed, her collection of cars is of museum quality.
“She treats the cars like they are her children — they even have names,” added a second source.
As OK! previously reported, claims of outrageous and mean behavior have dogged the show for the two weeks, with Warner Bros. forced to launch an official investigation.
In a statement, the network said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”
The company said “several staffing changes” were identified in addition to “appropriate measures” that will be made to “address the issues that have been raised.”
In her own statement to staff, DeGeneres said: “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.
“As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”
But as OK! reported, the allegations range from the odd to the obscene.
Her colleague, Head Writer and Executive Producer Kevin Leman, is accused of requesting a hand job and oral sex from another staffer in a bathroom during a company party in 2013, BuzzFeed News reported.
Another ex-employee described seeing Leman grab the penis of a production assistant, according to the report.
One insider told OK! DeGeneres can’t stand gum and if someone near her has it in their mouth, “she freaks out.”
Viewers see the host’s cozy home during lockdown broadcasts, but a second source said things are not as warm as they look, particularly for her staff.
“She has no respect for those who literally clean up her mess. She’ll fire you on the spot if you upset her,” that source said.
A third source said the television host has little to no respect for minimum-wage production assistants who are considered totally expendable.
“There’s no compassion. If you can’t handle the job, you’ll be replaced,” said a source.
Things can get so bad, people are walking on eggshells.
“Ellen won’t even make eye contact with employees,” said the snitch. “She refuses to even acknowledge them.”