Ellen DeGeneres a HYPOCRITE: Host Earning Big While Crew Suffer Reduced Pay, Job Loss?
Since last month, Ellen DeGeneres has been making headlines - and they're not all positive things.
The comedienne has been continuing her talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," since April 6 in her home because of the coronavirus lockdown.
But while she's safe in her multi-million-dollar mansion, she's still earning big bucks. However, this has angered her production crew because they alleged that the show had been poor in communicating with them regarding their wages.
The crew was left "distressed and outraged" by the lack of transparency, according to a source who told Variety, who said that all 30 members were left in the dark for two weeks about the status of their employment on the show that went off the air in March.
As per the insiders, the higher-ups in production would only "occasionally" answer calls from crews and that the show's core crew were to expect a 60% reduction in pay, despite new episodes of the show still being produced and broadcasted.
The crew members - from lighting to camera operators to grips - only discovered that the show would go on air again via social media, as they not officially told by management.
The news portal further said that there are currently four original crew members working remotely for broadcasting Ellen's at-home talk show.
They later learned that Ellen hired an outside, non-union company to assist in audio-visual production from her home, despite her traditional crew, who have the same skills, are all out of work.
Because of the radio silences from producers, it created a lot of anxiety among the production crew members who feared that they would be furloughed, and in case, would need to explore unemployment benefits.
Other insiders said that this kind of treatment is utterly inconsistent with the host's daily message to her audiences to "be kind."
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. TV, which distributes the show, said in a statement to Variety, "Our executive producers and Telepictures are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind."
They echoed that the crew has been continuously paid, though at reduced hours.
Under normal circumstances, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" tapes four days a week, and the studio shows of the show were last shot the week of March 9.
The crew was paid in full for the week of March 16, when Warner Bros. lot was shut down as a precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to the studio.
On the week of March 23, the show planned a spring break hiatus.
Warner Bros. spokesperson further said, "When returning from break, the crew was paid the week of March 30 despite having no firm plans for production to resume."
Variety's insiders further dished out that the pay reduced to eight hours from ten hours per workday for the week of March 30.
Ellen DeGeneres was also at the center of a viral Twitter thread last March that exposed the "Finding Dory" star of being mean off-camera.