Radio host and media executive Neil Breen is speaking out about his very strange interactions with Ellen DeGeneres’ staff. Breen was working on Australia’s Today Show in 2013 when he was asked not to interact with Degeneres when she arrived on set.
During his Tuesday episode of his radio show 4BC Breakfast With Neil Breen, Breen talked about the interaction saying “When Ellen DeGeneres came to Australia to do her show in 2013, I was the executive producer of the Today show, so we partnered with them.”
Breen goes on to say “Originally she was going to co-host the Today show, then she was going to do this, then she was going to do that. The whole thing got watered down to Ellen DeGeneres would do a sit-down interview.”
61-year-old Breen talked about how he and his team traveled to Melbourne, Australia, “at our own expense” to record the segment with Degeneres, 62, who was set to be interviewed by legendary Australian TV presenter Richard Wilkins.
“Because it’s the Ellen show, they controlled everything. They controlled the interview seats, the lights, how it would work, everything,” recalls Breen. “The producers called us aside and said, ‘This is how it’s going to work here this morning. Ellen’s going to arrive at 10:15, and she’ll be sitting in this chair. And Richard, you’ll be sitting in this chair here. Neil, no one’s to talk to Ellen. You don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her. She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard, then Ellen will leave.’”
The radio show host told his listeners on Tuesday morning that he “found the whole thing bizarre,” but he does go on to say that he is “not blaming Ellen" for the demands from her staff members.
Breen talks directly about his interaction with DeGeneres saying “I didn’t get to talk to her,” he restated, “I wasn’t allowed to. I don’t know if she’s a nice person or not. I wouldn’t have a clue. But I can tell you, the people who worked with her walked on eggshells the whole time.”
This is not the first time that people have spoken out against DeGeneres and her staff. As previously reported by OK! an internal investigation into claims of a toxic work environment and racism are underway by The Ellen DeGeneres Show parent company Warner Media.
The allegations started in March when comedian Kevin T. Porter took to Twitter asking for people to share their stories “about Ellen being mean.” Everyone was shocked including Porter when he received thousands of replies to the thread with incidents involving DeGeneres and the show being toxic.
Buzzfeed News then published an article with accounts from former Ellen staffers alleging claims of a toxic work environment. With one former staffer even stating "That 'be kind’ bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show.”
Executive producers for the talk show, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, have issued a joint statement addressing the issues, saying "we are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.”