When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their dramatic move to North America in January, many expected the couple would soon fall into the arms of U.S. television.
The Duchess, friends said, wanted to listen to her story of perceived suffering by the royal family and the British press.
And no one “sympathizes” or understands pain like Ellen DeGeneres, queen of daytime television and presenter with an unmatched reputation for sugar-sweet friendliness and empathy.
Her piercing blue eyes seem to be constantly filled with tears of compassion, especially when she admonishes viewers to “be kind to one another” – her trademark held at the end of the Ellen DeGeneres show, which has been on for 17 years.
Nobody “sympathizes” or understands pain like Ellen DeGeneres (with her wife, actress Portia de Rossi), Queen of Daytime TV and a presenter with an unmatched reputation for sugar-sweet friendliness and empathy
She and the Duchess seemed made for each other. And of course they were already friends. DeGeneres, 62, visited the Sussexes in London and was even allowed to hold baby Archie.
Meghan has credited DeGeneres with persuading her to adopt a dog when they once met at a Los Angeles animal shelter.
When the Sussexes made headlines around the world for deciding to step down from royal duties, DeGeneres defended the couple on their show.
"I see you are under attack and it's not fair," she enthused. “They are two of the most down to earth, compassionate people; You are doing so much good for the world. "
But she did not get the gig – so far no one has managed to secure a place on a sofa with Harry and Meghan for this heart to heart.
In Ellen's case, it now looks like she'll never do it.
In Hollywood's most vertiginous case in years, Ellen DeGeneres, who is valued at roughly £ 254 million, is torn to pieces by the fans who once idolized her – especially after she came out gay in 1997, but soon had her career break the cover of Time Magazine under the heading "Daring to be Real".
Because it turns out that Ellen might not be quite as nice as everyone thought.
Valued around £ 254million, Ellen DeGeneres (right, with singer Taylor Swift) is being torn to pieces by the fans who once adored her
Warners Bros, which owns the production company that makes the Ellen DeGeneres Show for NBC, has opened an investigation after at least 36 past and present employees alleged she presided over a toxic workplace that is reported to be racism, bullying, and intimidation Sexual harassment is dominated by the news website Buzzfeed.
The official investigation so far revealed "some deficiencies related to the day-to-day management of the show".
Some workers said they were fired after taking days off to attend funerals. "Your 'friendly' cop **** only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for the show," said one employee.
Warner Bros, who makes £ 27 million a year on her show according to Forbes, insists that DeGeneres herself will not be investigated – three of her producers are charged with bullying and sexual misconduct.
Warners Bros, which owns the production company that makes the Ellen DeGeneres Show for NBC, has opened an investigation into at least 36 past and present employees alleging that she presided over a toxic workplace riddled with racism, bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment is
However, some allegations have focused specifically on her. She sent an email to the staff expressing surprise that her workplace was not a place of happiness and promising to fix the problems.
DeGeneres isn't charged with any of the offenses, but she said in her email, "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for it."
Several former employees told Buzzfeed they were surprised she didn't hear the rumors about the accused producers because she worked so closely with them.
"It's very hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that she doesn't hear the same whisper," said one. "Unless she's really in that bubble."
Industry insiders insist DeGeneres will make it, but she is reportedly "crushed" by the controversy and impending demise of her glittering career as ratings from 4.2 million per episode to a record low of 1.2 million last month sank.
Replacement presenters such as Jennifer Aniston and British comedian James Corden have been discussed, although since the show was DeGeneres' idea, it may simply be scrapped.
So where did it all go wrong? Ellen's troubles began in mid-March when much of the US was looking for diversions.
American comedian Kevin Porter tweeted that Ellen was "notoriously the meanest person alive," and offered to donate $ 2 to charity for every example someone shared.
Ellen DeGeneres (pictured) will be back to host the 18th season of her show as the investigation into toxic workplace allegations continues
He said he made his fateful tweet for no particular reason, telling the New York Post, "It was just a thought that rolled me out of bed – it seemed like a fun, creative way to raise money for charity . "
Many assumed Porter was joking – but when he received 2,700 responses to his query, the devastating stories came thick and fast. One woman, a former waitress, claimed that DeGeneres wrote to her boss to complain that she “peeled off nail polish” while serving.
A former producer on the show, Hedda Muskat, said she noticed a "culture of fear" when she started work in 2003. "I've never been near a toxic host," she said.
When a producer yelled at a red-faced crew member during a meeting, DeGeneres just chuckled and said, "Well, I think every production needs its dog," Ms. Muskat recalled.
Neil Breen, former executive producer of an Australian breakfast show, claimed DeGeneres' team gave him exceptional rules for dealing with her when she appeared on their program in 2013.
"The producers called us aside and said," OK, this is how it will work here this morning, Neil – no one should speak to Ellen. You don't talk to her, you don't walk up to her, you don't look at her. She will come in, she will sit down, she will talk to Richard (the host of the show) and then Ellen will leave. "
"I don't know if she's a nice person or not … but I can tell you the people who worked with her walked on eggshells all the time."
Others have merely confirmed that DeGeneres' alleged "inconvenience" is one of Hollywood's worst-kept secrets.
"The first thing you get when you move to LA is a parking ticket and someone who's once worked for Ellen will tell you a story about how she is a monster," said writer and comedian Dan Sheehan.
Ellen DeGeneres had her worst ever ratings amid an ongoing scandal that her show has led to a toxic work culture marked by bullying, racism and sexual harassment
The celebrities who weighed themselves against DeGeneres dispel any notion that it's simply disgruntled employees trying to bring them down.
Brad Garrett, star of the hit comedy series Everybody Loves Raymond, claimed on Twitter that her inconvenience was "well known". He said, “Sorry, but it comes from above. Do you know more than one person who was treated terribly by her? "
Actress and director Lea Thompson, who starred in the Back To The Future films, agreed and said, "True story, this is it."
Unfortunately for DeGeneres, the series broke when ordinary Americans were infected by a new mood of cynicism towards their normally revered celebrities, who have shown how touchless and pampered they are while the rest of the country suffers.
During the lockdown, her staff complained that she had hired a cheaper, non-union freelance crew to record her segments from home, while being expected to take a 60 percent wage cut, even while the show was still on was broadcast.
In July, daytime syndicated talk show staff had quoted a number of executive producers on the show in their complaints, including Kevin Leman and Ed Glavin. Ellen was reportedly joined by executive producers Andy Lassner, Mary Connelly and Derek Westervelt, as well as senior staff, to resolve the issues on Monday
DeGeneres, who reportedly makes $ 50 million (£ 38 million) annually from the show and around $ 40 million (£ 31 million) from other sources, caused further trouble when she compared being stuck at home and in the To be in prison – just like she posted smug Instagram videos of the £ 20million Balinese-style mansion near Santa Barbara, which she shares with her 12-year-old actress Portia de Rossi, 47.
Last October, she was spotted laughing and chatting with former President George W. Bush at an American football game, which resulted in gay rights activists attacking her for interacting with a president who was opposed had pronounced a gay marriage.
In contrast, when DeGeneres had Caitlyn Jenner on the show, she berated her as a Republican.
The star, who until recently couldn't go wrong in the eyes of liberal America, can't do anything right now and speak on social media, revolves around whether she can avoid her show – and indeed her status – " canceled ”or not.
It comes shortly after reports that the show held a call with staff on Monday to discuss how it will move forward amid the allegations
DeGeneres, the daughter of a speech therapist mother and insurance agent father who were both Christian scientists, has already revealed her stepfather molesting her when she was 15 or 16. She started out as a stand-up comedian in her native Louisiana in the late 1980s and broke into film and television.
In 1997, her sitcom Ellen was at the height of her popularity when she decided to perform as a lesbian on the ABC show – which came as a surprise even to her mother.
The television station warned the series before each episode and the following year amid rumors that family-friendly Disney, ABC's owners, were uncomfortable about their sexuality.
DeGeneres, who frequently cites her personal problems when attacked (as in her last employee email), complained to an interviewer that she always felt like an outsider.
Within six years, however, the "outsider" was back and soon dominated daily television programs.
In her current situation, she is unlikely to make fun of her personal quarrel, given her large fortune and a power roster of friends that include the Obamas and Bill Gates.
America is shocked by the revelations about the dark side of a popular celebrity, but to be fair, the clues have been around for a long time.
In December 2018, she told an interviewer that she was bored with being "nice" and that she felt "encircled" by her reputation for kindness – although she dismissed rumors that she was horrible for her employees as "a lie." ".
Her passive-aggressive series often shows up on-screen, for example when she relentlessly molested singer Taylor Swift to reveal who her friends were, bullied Mariah Carey to admit she was pregnant, or when she was an embarrassed member The audience's on stage was secretly filmed as they took more than their share of Ellen-related freebies prior to the show.
Occasionally her arrogance has backfired, for example when she pulled up Fifty Shades Of Gray star Dakota Johnson for not inviting her to her 30th birthday party.
"Actually, that's not the truth, Ellen – you have been invited," Johnson corrected sweetly but firmly. Ellen was visibly unsettled – and especially when it turned out that she had traveled to Texas with Mr. Bush that day for that soccer game.
A number of past celebrity guests – including singer Katy Perry and actors Ashton Kutcher, Diane Keaton and Alec Baldwin – have teamed up in support of DeGeneres, but their protests that they were never mad at her have the current anti-celeb feel just tightened. Of course, DeGeneres will be nice to big stars, chorus of their critics.
Being an unbearable diva is hardly uncommon in Hollywood, but DeGeneres seems to have sealed her fate by basing her appeal on the exact opposite. But then Tinseltown has an inglorious history of tolerating monsters – as long as they are successful.
TV industry watchers believe Warner Bros will do its best right now to keep DeGeneres on the air. However, it can be a step too far to expect her to deliver her sermon with a straight face after this farce.
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