Things just got a whole lot worse for daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, as one of her former executive producers have come forward to claim that she is responsible for the toxic workplace environment on the set of her show.
Hedda Muskat was recruited for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” by executive producer Andy Lassner back in 2003, when it was still in development. She was stunned by what she witnessed as soon as she joined the show.
“I had never seen this before,” Muskat told The Wrap. “I had never been around a toxic host.”
She went on to recount one incident in which executive producer Ed Glavin screamed at a crew member in front of his coworkers.
“He just went off on them. His whole face turned red. … We were stunned. I was waiting for Ellen to say something. ‘Whoa, Ed, don’t talk like that,’” Muskat recalled. “Do you know what she did? She giggled. She crossed her legs up on the chair and she said, ‘Well, I guess every production needs their dog’ … And from then we knew. Ed was going to be the barking dog — her dog.”
“You could just see everybody’s faces go stiff,” she added. “We’re professionals; we’re adults. We don’t need a dog to get us to do our jobs … She was the only one giggling.”
Muskat also talked about how she was fired from the show days before the Daytime Emmy Awards:
One day I get called into the office. Ed says to me, ‘You know, Hedda, we’re really loving your segments. I don’t know how you do it. We’re going to need all your sources.’ … I’ve worked for 18 years to build those sources. Those sources are why you hired me. From that day on, I felt a turn, that I was really on everybody’s shitlist.
They call me in and Ed says, ‘Congratulations on the nomination. We really appreciate what you’ve done, but we no longer need your services.’ … I could have easily done that job for the rest of my life. I knew it inside and out.
This comes after DeGeneres was hit with numerous claims by current and former employees of racism, intimidation, and sexual misconduct behind the scenes of her show. Though she has since apologized to her staffers in a memo, she has also come under fire for shifting the blame onto others.
“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done,” DeGeneres wrote. “Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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