A producer who worked on Ellen DeGeneres‘ daytime talk show during its very first season claims ‘a culture of fear’ has plagued the program’s workplace from the beginning – and says the star was complicit in the bad behavior.
Hedda Muskat joined ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ back in 2003, and was among a small number of staffers who helped shape the show as it went to air across the county.
But while the program was an immediate hit, Muskat claims there was already abusive behavior occurring behind the scenes.
‘I had never seen this before, I had never been around a toxic host,’ she told The Wrap in an interview published Monday.
Muskat is the latest employee to speak out about problems on the show’s set – and her claims corroborate those made by dozens of other staffers who also assert that ‘bullying’ was rife.
Former Ellen DeGeneres Show producer, Hedda Muskat (right), says ‘a culture of fear’ has plagued the program’s workplace from the beginning – and claims the star was complicit in the bad behavior. Ellen is pictured at left in 2003
However, Ellen has sought to distance herself from any involvement in the problems, and some of the other whistleblowers say she may have been unaware of how bad things really were.
Muskat claims that is not the case.
Speaking with The Wrap, she recalled one instance in which Ellen ‘giggled’ while the show’s executive producer, Ed Glavin, screamed at a crew member in front of an entire room.
‘He [Glavin] just went off on them. His whole face turned red. … We were stunned,’ Muskat recalled.
‘I was waiting for Ellen to say something like, “Whoa, Ed, don’t talk like that”. But do you know what she did? She giggled.’
Muskat went on: ‘She [Ellen] crossed her legs up on the chair and she said, “Well, I guess every production needs their 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.’
‘Ed [Glavin] didn’t act independently. Ed was a bully, but he worked for Ellen. It was her show,’ Muskat stated.
Muskat claims the show’s executive producer Ed Glavin (pictured in 2015) was a bully. She alleges that Ellen ‘giggled’ as he screamed at a crew member, and was complicit in his bad behavior
Ellen has sought to distance herself from any involvement in the show’s problems, but Muskat (right) claims she encouraged Ed Glavin’s bullying behavior. Ellen is pictured left in 2003 – at the time Muskat was working on her show
In her interview with The Wrap, Muskat went on to claim that she quickly fell out of favor with show bosses when she refused to hand over a list of contacts she had spent her whole career building.
Muskat says she was ‘repeatedly sidelined in favor of a younger male producer and slowly stripped of responsibilities like writing her own segments’.
In 2004 – partway through the show’s second season – she was fired by Glavin.
Her dismissal came in spite of the fact she helped the show win two Emmy Awards during its initial seasons.
‘I could have easily done that job for the rest of my life. I knew it inside and out,’ she stated.
Muskat’s story comes after Ellen issued a memo to staffers saying she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees.
She wrote: ‘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. Clearly some didn’t,’ she added. ‘That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.’
A downcast Ellen DeGeneres stepped out for a walk with a friend on Saturday afternoon as it was revealed she will not be quitting her eponymous TV show despite a slew of recent allegations regarding a toxic work environment riddled with sexual misconduct
The longtime talk show sought to avoid attention as she stepped out in Santa Monica in simple workout attire, a baseball cap and sunglasses – paired with a pained expression
However, in addition to Muskat’s claims that the star has been aware of problems from the beginning, other staffers have slammed Ellen’s mea culpa.
Two former employees told The Sun that her ‘apology and denial that she knew anything was going on’ regarding misconduct is ‘complete bull.’
The pair told the paper: ‘For over a decade Ellen has treated her staff poorly, which is ironic because of her persona when she is on camera.
‘She is literally like two different people. One is awful, power-hungry and constantly yells at everyone for any little that goes wrong with the production of the show.
‘The other character that Ellen plays is what the world sees – a hilarious, kind and giving woman who is a fearless advocate for the LGBTQ community.’
The former workers said that the show has a high turnover of staff because of the pressure which Ellen applies, and fear of her ‘power’ has prevented complainants from coming forward earlier.
One of the sources said: ‘She cannot go on living a lie and treating people this way. Her reputation and disgusting behavior has finally caught up with her.’
The show’s parent company WarnerMedia last week launched an investigation after the employees went public with their grievances.
Ellen DeGeneres’ memo to her staff addressing mistreatment allegations
Hey everybody — it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen Degeneres Show would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. 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. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me. It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice.
We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then. Stay safe and healthy.
Last month one current and 10 former employees of the daytime chat show accused its three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of ‘bullying.’
The executive producers, issued a statement saying: ‘We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.’
Lassner also tweeted: ‘Nobody is going off the air.’
Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, is alleged to have ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and showering him with other gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him.
Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, is alleged to have solicited oral sex from an employee. Others say they witnessed Leman grope another colleague.
Glavin, meanwhile, allegedly ‘had a reputation for being handsy with women,’ according to former employees.
The former staffers told BuzzFeed News that they believe Ellen knew that several of her senior showrunners and producers were alleged to have committed sexual misconduct against junior-level employees.
Leman and Norman have denied all allegations. Glavin has not addressed the claim publicly yet but is stepping down from his position, according to Variety.
Warner Bros., the studio that runs the show, has declined to comment on the sexual harassment allegations, citing an ongoing internal investigation.
Executive producers (left to right) Jonathan Norman and Kevin Lenman, along with Ed Glavin, were accused by over 30 former employees of sexual misconduct
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – that has never taken the time to say hi to me,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’
Multiple staff members at the show tell DailyMail.com they are not buying Ellen’s apology and are calling on her to call it quits.
One staffer said, ‘She’s only addressing this now because the publicity is so bad for her and her BS brand of happiness and kindness. Ellen can throw everyone else under the bus, but the buck stops with her.
‘Whenever she’d tell viewers to choose kindness, I’d throw up a little in my mouth because she always chose the opposite,’ they added.
Among the allegations was one made by a black woman who claimed she suffered a number of ‘microaggressions,’ her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of ‘walking around looking resentful and angry’ after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee alleged they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.
Our source said: ‘She was happy to put her name on the show, yet she let those three executive producers do whatever they wanted. The fish rots from the head and Ellen and the three of them are now rotting.’
They also claimed Ellen and her executive producers will be on a ‘witch hunt’ now to find who spoke out against them.
‘Don’t think for a second that there won’t be a witch hunt to find out who went public with the worst kept secret in television,’ they said. ‘Ellen is mean. She’ll want vengeance for all of this coming out.’
A popular claim that has circulated is that staff members were instructed not to speak to Ellen, and our source corroborated that claim.
‘She kept herself isolated from the staff. You can’t go up and talk to her, heck, you can’t even get within a mile of her on the lot,’ they said.
Current employees are now calling on Ellen to call it quits.
‘Warner Bros should cancel our show or swap her out for a fun celebrity host. Viewers have been fed lies for years. The Ellen you see on TV is disingenuous and inauthentic. She’s a horrible person who has done nothing to support 99% of the people who work for her.
‘Yet they won’t cancel it as all they care about is money and the show is a cash cow.
‘It’s time for Ellen to leave TV. She’s done enough damage. They should replace her with someone wonderful like Jen Aniston. She’s always a dream when she comes by – gracious, kind and funny and we’re actually allowed to look her in the eyes!!
A recent report by Us Weekly claims the scandal is uniting staff behind the scenes.
‘They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story,’ a source claims to the publication. ‘They’re loving that the truth – which has been an open secret for years in the industry – is finally receiving more interest.’
A source initially told Buzzfeed that the executive producers feel that ‘everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there: ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.”
Executive Producer Andy Lassner tweeted with confidence on Thursday that ‘nobody is going off the air’.
Our source said: ‘Many of us have a theory that Ellen behaves this way as a mechanism to protect herself. She was so damaged when her sitcom was canceled after she came out that she chose to keep people at a distance in order not to get hurt should this show be canceled. Yet 17 seasons later it’s still on the air and she’s so powerful now she thought she could do whatever she wanted.’
One staffer told DailyMail.com: ‘Even though our show is crumbling around us, it’s liberating for everything to come out into the open.’
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Architect, 32, transforms his home into a lush garden with more than 400 plants
An architect with a penchant for all things green has transformed his city home into a lush ‘rainforest’ after years of collecting rare and unusual plants.
Jason Chongue, from Melbourne, has a stunning greenery collection with more than 400 strong plants that have since become a part of the décor.
With little outdoor space to work with, the 32-year-old interior designer brought his gardening indoors – and has since filled every corner of his home with potted and hanging plants of all shape and sizes.
Architect Jason Chongue (pictured) has a stunning greenery collection that now spans more than 400 strong plants that have all become a part of the décor
‘The last count was over 400 plants indoors and outdoors there is plenty more,’ Jason told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Filling my home with plants was an organic result of not having enough outdoor space to feed my gardening obsession.
‘When you live in a dense urban community, outdoor space comes at a premium, so the answer was gardening indoors. There are so many indoor plants that can thrive in our indoor world.’
His obsession with plants started organically when he helped his parents and grandparents with gardening at a ‘very young age’.
‘I was infatuated with nature and greenery, from plants to pets I was obsessed. I would spend my days in the garden, growing and experimenting with anything I could get my hands on,’ he said.
‘Over the years I’ve explored a range of plant types and species, but the collection has grown and evolved. Some plants I have with me now are from my childhood, whilst others are additions and others have been passed on to me.
‘My obsession with plants comes from my passion for greenery and how plants can make the world of difference in our living spaces.’
He turned his home into an indoor garden after years of collecting rare and unusual plants
Jason’s top five tips to styling a home with plants
1. PLAN WELL: When it comes to curating plants in small spaces it pays to sit down and plan out the overall look you are wanting to achieve. This might include how many plants, where they will go and the style you envisage. This will give you a clear direction when you are sourcing plants and planters.
2. DON’T BE CHARMED BY LOOKS: We all make the mistake of choosing plants purely by how they look. It’s more important to choose plants for your space by the natural lighting conditions they require.
3. KNOW WHO YOU ARE AS A GARDENER: If you are nervous about gardening, then choose plants that are easy to care for and low maintenance. Start with a handful of plants and slowly build up your garden once you get a handle on how to care for your plants.
4. BE YOURSELF. DON’T FALL FOR FADS: We’re fortunate to have so many great creative in our communities. This gives us a great opportunity to have unique planters that have been lovingly designed or made by hand. You don’t have to follow the trends but instead use planters that relate to you.
5. ALWAYS EXPERIMENT: A great gardener always pushes the boundaries of what they grow. You’ll find yourself growing indoor plants to edibles and then to every plant type there is out there. It’s great to try new species and plant types to challenge your skill set into other areas.
His indoor plant sanctuary has brought a source of great joy into his life, allowing him to ‘escape my daily urban life’.
‘Walking into our home is comforting and grounding. It’s become a haven where the air is fresh, and the greenery forms a mental escape,’ Jason explained.
‘When indoor spaces are predominately hard edged and man-made it’s so nice softening these spaces with plants that evolve over time.
‘Through the act of gardening it’s relaxing for me to get my hands into soil or prune my plants on a daily basis. It’s an escape from my daily life.’
And what started as a passion quickly blossomed into a growing business.
His indoor plant sanctuary has brought a source of great joy into his life and allows him to ‘escape my daily urban life’
The 32-year-old interior designer said he has spent years of collecting rare and unusual plants
In August 2016, he co-founded The Plant Society, a ‘plant social network’ for like-minded growers, collectors and gardeners.
‘Having co-founded The Plant Society, plants have definitely changed my life. It’s nice being able to motivate the wider community about the benefits of greenery but also be there to help support them,’ he said.
‘Life can become hectic and gardening allows us to slow down and reflect.’
With hundreds of plants under his roof, Jason said he checks all his greenery every day to ensure they are getting enough light, water and nutrition.
‘On a daily basis I spend thirty minutes to an hour gardening in the morning and then I spend an hour or so after work tending to my plants. Once a week I spend a solid block of one to two hours getting more intricate tasks done,’ he said.
When his family and friends visit his home, Jason said they’re always ‘amazed’ with his spectacular indoor garden.
‘It’s always a surprise when you walk through the front door of our home. They are amazed, but also not entirely in shock, as gardening has always been a part of who I am. It’s nice seeing how happy they are when they come over,’ he said.
His obsession with plants started organically when he helped his parents and grandparents with gardening at a ‘very young age’
What started as a passion quickly blossomed into a growing business. In August 2016, he co-founded The Plant Society , a ‘plant social network’ for like-minded people
With hundreds of plants under his roof, Jason said he checks all his greenery every day to ensure they are getting enough water and light
For first time planters, Jason said there are five basic things to keep in mind when buying plants for your home.
‘Focus on the fundamentals. Plants are alive. They thrive off the fundamentals of water, light and nutrition. Keep on top of these to allow your plants to thrive,’ he said.
‘Take it slow. There is no rush when it comes to gardening. Don’t force instant results. The plant world is on a journey of its own so make sure to slow down and enjoy the process of gardening.
‘Plants don’t thrive off neglect. Check in on your plants regularly, my tip is every week or two. You want to nurture your plants and also catch any plant problems early.
‘When you have plant problems, don’t panic. Try to systematically pin point the problem and this will provide you with the solution. Like humans, plant illness and diseases will take time to resolve. Keep treating until the problem has disappeared.
‘And speak up. From when I first began gardening and even now I’m always asking for advice. With a multitude of plant types, you’ll always need help from family, friends, neighbors and online plant friends.’
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Bachelor Matty ‘J’ Johnson to give evidence to police after breaking up a fight
The Bachelor’s Matthew ‘Matty J’ Johnson and Laura Byrne recently returned from a family holiday in Byron Bay with their one-year-old daughter Marlie Mae.
And on Saturday, Matty revealed that their final day in the NSW coastal town ended in a very dramatic fashion.
On Nova’s Matt, Sarah and Matty J show, the 33-year-old explained that he broke up a fight after two young guys tackled an elderly couple.
Hero move: On Nova’s Matt, Sarah and Matty J show, Matty J (pictured) explained that he broke up a fight after two young guys tackled an elderly couple
‘I’m looking around, the park is really busy, everyone is frozen and shocked,’ he said.
‘I dropped my phone and start running full pelt, running, there is not a thought in my mind, I just know I have to save this couple. I tackled the guy, I bring him to the ground…I had him pinned to the ground.’
He continued: ‘Next thing I’ve got one guy pinned to the ground, I’m holding another one back and everyone’s come over, the police have arrived.’
To the rescue: Thankfully the radio host came out of the skirmish unharmed, however he did reveal that he will have to give evidence to the police
Thankfully the radio host came out of the skirmish unharmed, however he did reveal that he will ‘have to give evidence to the police’.
On Thursday, Matty and his wife Laura announced that they are expecting their second child together.
‘Marlie-Mae learning shocked face couldn’t have been timed any better.. WE’RE HAVING A BABY!’ Matty, 32, wrote alongside a family photo on Instagram.
‘Please brace yourself for twice the amount of dad jokes,’ he added.
Incoming! The Bachelor’s Matthew Johnson and Laura Byrne announced they’re expecting their second child together on Thursday. Pictured with daughter Marlie-Mae Rose
‘I reckon we’ve kept this little beach ball under wraps for long enough….. Halfway to number 2,’ Laura, 31, wrote in a separate post shared to her own account.
‘A big shout out to @matthewdavidjohnson for his contribution,’ she cheekily added.
‘You’re hands down my favourite Bachelor, I love you forever and our little family.’
Exciting: ‘I reckon we’ve kept this little beach ball under wraps for long enough….. Halfway to number 2,’ Laura, 31, wrote in a separate post shared to her own account
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Students at one of Sydney’s most elite school’s boast about their luxury facilities
Students at one of Sydney’s most exclusive private schools have shared videos boasting about a luxury ‘$50million gym and library with a harbour view’.
Sydney Church of England Grammar School, also known as the Shore School, sits in Sydney’s North Shore.
Students recently uploaded a video to TikTok as part of a viral trend showing off the school’s facilities.
The video, which has since been taken down, showed students looking out at views of the Harbour Bridge from the comfort of their library.
Students recently uploaded a video to TikTok as part of a viral trend showing off the school’s facilities
Sydney Church of England Grammar School, also known as the Shore School, sits in Sydney’s North Shore
The video also showed the school’s gym, which includes treadmills, stationary cycling bikes and weight-lifting facilities.
The $33,000-a-year school sits on a eight-hectare block and features classrooms, lecture theatres and a 500-seat auditorium, according to the school’s website.
There are cricket nets, as well as tennis and basketball courts, two squash courts and a 25-metre swimming pool and diving facilities.
There are also boarding facilities and a chapel on campus as well.
There are other incredible facilities at the $33,000-per-year school that weren’t included in the video
The Shore School’s student’s video went viral, with other school children from across the country making similar clips to compare facilities.
However, administration were not impressed with the video posted on TikTok.
A spokesman for the school told the Daily Telegraph the students involved were told to remove the clip as it breached the school’s social media policy.
Students are allowed to use mobile phones on campus, and footage shot inside of the school is also banned from appearing online.
A spokesman for the school told the Daily Telegraph the students involved were told to remove the clip as it breached the school’s social media policy
Those involved were told not to do it again.
David Shoebridge, NSW Greens MLC, called the footage ‘deeply offensive’.
‘Students can see how unfair and unbalanced school funding is,’ Mr Shoebridge said.
‘It’s just extraordinary how most politicians can’t.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Shore School for comment.
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