Ellen DeGeneres (Todd Williamson/Getty) and Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep
A former staffer on Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running chat show has said the on-set culture is similar to the toxic workplace presented in The Devil Wears Prada.
The Devil Wears Prada, released in 2006, follows aspiring journalist Andy (Anne Hathaway) as she lands a job at fictional fashion magazine Runway – but she must quickly learn how to cope with her tyrannical bully boss Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).
The modern-day classic is widely-loved for its endlessly quotable star turn from Streep – but it may have been a bit too close to home for staffers on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
An anonymous former camera assistant on DeGeneres’ show has alleged that there were striking similarities between the 2006 film and the talkshow’s on-set culture.
Former staffer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show spoke out about the talkshow’s on-set culture.
The former staffer told Australian radio show Stav, Abbey & Matt that she worked on the talkshow for “a little over a year”.
“It’s kind of like The Devil Wears Prada,” the former staffer said.
“Everyone is trying to make it to the [end of a] year. It’s just a badge of honour to have that and have it on your resume.”
She continued: “Most people are told, ‘When Ellen enters the room, you and your entire crew need to leave.’ Sometimes her bodyguards come forward first and you kind of see them and you know to leave and that’s it.”
The woman suggested that DeGeneres probably has no idea “what’s going on in her own show at all”.
She went on to claim that there is a “lineup” of people waiting for jobs on the show, and that producers would tell staff: “If you don’t like it here, you can leave.”
The once-loved host has seen her reputation torn to shreds.
DeGeneres has seen her reputation torn to shreds in recent weeks and months, with past and current staff alleging that the show’s set is plagued by racism, bullying and sexual misconduct.
The once-loved talkshow host has been accused of “turning a blind eye” while staff were allegedly mistreated.
DeGeneres, 62, is said to have fired people for attending family funerals or taking medical leave, while producers joked that they’d mix up two Black employees because they had the same hairstyle.
Most people are told, ‘When Ellen enters the room, you and your entire crew need to leave.’
One Black woman alleged that one of the show’s main writers said they only know the names of white employees, and people just “awkwardly laughed it off” rather than confronting it.
Others claimed that direct managers instructed lower-ranking employees not to speak to Ellen if they saw her around the office.
Overall, the former staff blamed senior managers and producers for the toxicity, but stressed that as it’s DeGeneres’ name on the brand “she really needs to take more responsibility”.
Since the allegations emerged, Warner Media has launched an investigation into the show, and rumours have abounded that DeGeneres herself will be replaced.
However, her wife Portia de Rossi insisted that DeGeneres has no immediate plans to call it quits.