The Ellen Degeneres controversy continues, as more people speak out against the talk show host.
Ex-producer claims “culture of fear” on Ellen set
Former producer Hedda Muskat who joined the show in 2003 told The Wrap in a story posted today (Jul 3) that a “culture of fear” permeated the set from the very beginning.
“I had never seen this before,” told the website. “I had never been around a toxic host.”
Muskat claimed executive producer Ed Glavin would go off on staff. She recounted a time where he allegedly screamed at a crew member during a staff meeting.
“He just went off on them,” she said. “His whole face turned red. … We were stunned.” Muskrat waited for Ellen to rein him in, but instead she “giggled.”
“She crossed her legs up on the chair and she said, ‘Well, I guess every production needs their dog,’” Muskat claimed. “And from then we knew. Ed was going to be the barking dog — her dog. You could just see everybody’s faces go stiff. 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 worked 12 months on the show. First the show sidelined her, and then eventually they fired her in May 2004, days before winning her first Emmy.
“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,’” she recalled, noting that Glavin told her producers were “taking the show in a different direction.”
Ed Galvin is at the center of the recent reports of a racist, sexist and toxic environment at the Ellen show. Galvin has been let go and Warner Brothers is investigating the incident. In the meantime, Ellen has written a letter of apology to her staff, promising to do better in the future.
The Ellen Show also has a sexual harassment problem, say sources
But in the meantime, Buzzfeed published a second report outlining sexual harassment on set, mostly from head writer and executive producer, Kevin Leman.
Also, dozens of former employees said Glavin “had a reputation for being handsy with women,” especially in the control room, and managed the team through fear and intimidation. Five former employees also said they saw Glavin use a button at his desk to remotely shut his office door “as an intimidation tactic” during reprimands.
One ex-employee said Leman asked him if he could give him a hand job or perform oral sex in a bathroom at a company party in 2013. Another said they separately saw Leman grab a production assistant’s p***s.
In May 2017, another former employee also said she saw Leman grope a production assistant in a car and kiss his neck.
According to Buzzfeed, nearly a dozen former employees, who run the gamut from long-time senior level to production assistants said that Lehman often made sexually explicit comments in the office, like pointing out male colleagues’ bulges in their crotches, or ask them questions like, “Are you a top or a bottom?”
Many of his targets, employees added, were lower-level and younger employees who felt they lacked any power to speak up.
Additionally, another former employee said co-executive producer Jonathan Norman groomed him over a period of time by taking him to concerts and other work-related perks, and then one night attempted to perform oral sex on him. Three of the employee’s former colleagues on the show corroborated that he told them about the incident at the time and said they have discussed it in the years since.