Yesterday the guy who ran the Today Show Australia told an interesting story on his radio show. Neil Breen said on his show that in 2013 he was excited to land Ellen as a co host for the day, but that excitement waned when her staff started putting conditions on the appearance.
First it changed from co hosting the entire show to just a simple interview. Then they were told she wouldn't be coming to the Today show set. They had to go to her. 443 miles away! He and the host of the show Richard Wilkins and a couple of camera men flew to Melbourne the night before.
“There were the two of us, and of course, because it’s The Ellen Show they controlled everything. They controlled the interview seats, the lights, how it would work, everything. And then when Richard and I got there, you know, for our ‘brush with fame,’ what did we care? We walk in and then The Ellen Show producers, there was a LOT of them, there was a lot of people there. Anyway, the producers called us aside and said, like, ‘Hey, 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 here and Richard, you’ll be sitting in this chair here. Now, Neil, no one’s to talk to Ellen. So 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. And every word she said, these producers would giggle and laugh, and I had asked them to be quiet because we were filming an interview. I said, ‘Can you sort of not laugh when Ellen says…’ because they laugh at everything she says, right? ‘Can you not laugh too much because I’m trying to record it?’ I can tell you the people who worked with her walked on eggshells the whole time, and the whole thing was totally bizarre. Like we’re there to do an interview with her to promote what she’s doing, but you can’t look at her? Like, someone get real.”
In a related story Ellen put out an apology letter yesterday. Ellen says she always wanted “The Ellen Show” to be “a place of happiness” – a place where no one raises their voice, and everyone is treated with respect. But based on the stories her current and former staffers have been coming forward with, she sees that “something changed,” and for that she’s sorry and “disappointed.”
Ellen admits that as the show has grown, she hasn’t been able to “stay on top of everything” – she’s had to rely on others to do their jobs right, and she sees that “clearly some didn’t.” From now on, she’s pledged to be “committed to ensuring this does not happen again.” Read the full apology HERE.