Ellen DeGeneres‘ wife Portia de Rossi is thanking fans for ‘standing’ with them amid claims the talk show star created a ‘toxic’ work environment rife with bullying, racism and sexual harassment.
The Arrested Development actress, 47, shared a graphic that read ‘I stand by Ellen’ on social media Monday.
She captioned the post: ‘To all our fans….we see you. Thank you for your support.’
By her side: Portia de Rossi thanked fans while speaking up in support of wife Ellen DeGeneres amid claims the talk show host fostered a ‘toxic’ workplace culture full of bullying, racism and sexual harassment. The couple are seen in January 2020 above
Her hashtags continued to send a message, reading: #stopbotattacks, #IStandWithEllenDeGeneres, #IStandByEllen, and #IstandByEllenDeGeneres.
Portia, who has been married to Ellen for 12 years, also added ‘#bekindtooneanother,’ which is how DeGeneres closes every episode of her show.
It was unclear what the reference to ‘bot attacks’ meant.
Portia’s short statement comes after Ellen wrote a substantial memo to her employees, saying that she and Warner Bros. are ‘taking steps, together, to correct the issues.’
Dozens of staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show have claimed that racism, bullying and sexual harassment was rife at the Hollywood studio.
Kindness counts: Portia, who has been married to Ellen for 12 years, also added ‘#bekindtooneanother,’ which is how DeGeneres closes every episode of her show
Keeping a low profile: DeGeneres was seen in Santa Monica on Saturday
The show’s parent company WarnerMedia last week launched an investigation after the employees went public with their grievances.
Last month one current and ten 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.
And Ed Glavin, an executive producer, 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.
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.’
Warner Bros., the studio that runs the show, has declined to comment on the sexual harassment allegations, citing an ongoing internal investigation.
Ellen said she was ‘taking steps… to correct’ issues with her employees in the staff-wide memo from last week.
‘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,’ Ellen said in the memo.
‘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.’
But 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 Wednesday 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.’
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.
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Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko suddenly sworn in for a new term in unannounced inauguration
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in for a new term in an unannounced inauguration after six weeks of mass protests against his election victory.
The ceremony was conducted earlier today in Minsk with several hundred top government officials present, according to reports.
The 66-year-old placed his right hand on a copy of the constitution and swore the oath of office in front of several hundred top government officials, news agency Belta said.
‘The day of assuming the post of the president is the day of our victory, convincing and fateful,’ he said at the ceremony.
‘We were not just electing the president of the country – we were defending our values, our peaceful life, sovereignty and independence.’
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (pictured) has been sworn in for a new term in an unannounced inauguration after six weeks of mass protests against his election victory
The 66-year-old placed his right hand on a copy of the constitution and swore the oath of office in front of several hundred top government officials
He added that the country needed safety and consensus ‘on the brink of a global crisis’ in an apparent reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘I cannot, I have no right to abandon the Belarusians,’ he said.
The inauguration, which would normally be publicised in advance as a major state occasion, follows a disputed election on August 9.
Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994 and will now begin his sixth term, claimed a landslide victory with the opposition accusing him of massive vote-rigging.
But Belarus, an ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million, is facing the prospect of US and European Union sanctions over the disputed election after it was followed by a crackdown by Lukashenko’s security forces against opposition protests demanding his resignation.
United Nations human rights investigator Anais Marin said last week that more than 10,000 people had been ‘abusively arrested’ since the election with more than 500 reports of torture and thousands ‘savagely beaten’.
Belarus authorities have previously said the police are humane and professional but have declined to comment on specific allegations of abuses.
Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994 and will now begin his sixth term (pictured at today’s inauguration), claimed a landslide victory with the opposition accusing him of massive vote-rigging
An opposition politician, Pavel Latushko, said the swearing-in was like a secret ‘thieves’ meeting’.
‘Where are the jubilant citizens? Where is the diplomatic corps?’ he posted on social media.
‘It is obvious that Alexander Lukashenko is exclusively the president of the OMON (riot police) and a handful of lying officials.’
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on Twitter: ‘Such a farce. Forget elections… His illegitimacy is a fact with all the consequences that this entails’.
Belarus is crucial to Russia as a buffer state against NATO and a conduit for Russian exports of oil and gas to Moscow (Lukashenko pictured alongside Vladimir Putin Putin last week)
Belarus is crucial to Russia as a buffer state against NATO and a conduit for Russian exports of oil and gas to Moscow.
At a summit last week, Vladimir Putin granted Lukashenko a $1.5billion loan, and the two countries are holding ‘Slavic Brotherhood’ defence exercises in Belarus.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the swearing-in was ‘absolutely the sovereign decision of the Belarusian leadership’.
Asked if Putin was invited, he said it looked as though the presence of foreign leaders had not been envisaged.
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Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget suffered cancer diagnosis and has no photos of Hawke in her home
Bob Hawke’s widow has spoken candidly about her earth-shattering cancer diagnosis while she was mourning the death of her husband.
In February, just nine months after the former prime minister died, 76-year-old Blanche d’Alpuget discovered a lump about the size of a 10c piece in her left breast.
Scans immediately revealed she had breast cancer. Defeated by the death of Mr Hawke, Ms d’Alpuget admitted she felt ‘ready to give up’ and considered ‘letting herself die from it’.
During an interview with A Current Affair aired on Tuesday night, Ms d’Alpuget spoke of her diagnosis – and offered an insight into her life with the larrikin former PM.
‘I could tell from the woman’s face while she was doing [tests] that the news wasn’t good,’ she said.
‘I had eight weeks of chemotherapy, which was sheer hell… I wanted to kill the oncologist during chemotherapy. It was really awful, I was terribly, terribly sick.’
Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke died on May 16, 2019. The couple are pictured together in 2013
Blanche d’Alpuget, the wife of Bob Hawke, during the State Memorial service for the former Prime Minister
The lump was stage two cancer, with a few other stage one tumours surrounding it.
But Ms d’Alpuget felt that the diagnosis ‘served her right’ after avoiding a mammogram for years.
‘I’ve been very naughty. I had one mammogram in my life and it hurt, so I hadn’t had another one,’ she confessed.
‘It was quite a surprise. It serves me right, really, for not being more vigilant… I considered myself made of Indian rubber.’
The past 18 months have been a trying time for the author, who recently released a new book and completed the final biography of her beloved husband’s incredible life.
After his death, she was embroiled in a bitter court battle with one of his children, who disputed the will, and was later criticised for her decision to auction off most of Hawke’s belongings.
‘It was a conscious decision,’ she said of the auction.
Ms d’Alpuget felt that the diagnosis ‘served her right’ after avoiding a mammogram for years
Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget revealed she was ready to give up and die when she was diagnosed with breast cancer less than a year after the death of her ‘soulmate’
‘I saw it as that life has ended, and a new life is now beginning. I’m inclined to look forward,’ she added, mimicking a sentiment Hawke made often during his long life.
She confessed to Tracy Grimshaw that she only kept one photo of Hawke when moving into her new apartment, but that she’d since lost the photo.
‘So you’ve got no photos of him here,’ a shocked Grimshaw asked.
Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget has been battling breast cancer
‘I kept Bob’s bed, I think its got his energy in it… I don’t sleep in it but I lay down with him every day,’ she said.
Speaking of the lack of photographs, Ms d’Alpuget said Hawke ‘lives on in [her] head’.
‘He lives with me anyway. After he died, I did finish what turned out to be his complete biography. Writing out his death was very cathartic,’ she said.
After Ms d’Alpuget’s eight-week stint of chemotherapy, she underwent intense surgery to remove the lumps and followed that with immunotherapy.
Ms d’Alpuget now considers herself lucky for finding the cancer so early on.
She was so sick from the chemo she was forced to stay in bed for days after each treatment, bedridden with nausea, exhaustion and even bleeding.
Shortly before surgery in April she revealed her battle for the first time to the media with the hopes of warning other women to make sure they check for cancer.
‘You never think you’re going to get cancer — not at my age, but it happens. I’d like to encourage all older women to have their breasts checked. I found the lump by accident,’ she said at the time.
In Ms d’Alpuget’s circumstance, she said she was simply putting on her nightie one evening when she discovered the lump.
Mr Hawke married Ms d’Alpuget in 1995 after splitting from his wife of 38 years. The Hawke family is pictured during the 1987 election campaign. Daughter Sue is cradling her daughter Sophie, Mr Hawke’s wife Hazel is next to him and daughter Rosslyn is next to her
Former prime minister Bob Hawke did not leave a cent to the three children he raised with first wife Hazel in his will – a copy of which has been obtained by Daily Mail Australia. Mr Hawke’s entire estate went to his second wife and former mistress Blanche d’Alpuget. (Both pictured)
‘I thought a mushroom had come up overnight,’ she said.
‘It really is an epidemic and I have to admit I had been quite foolish.’
In the horrific surgery the tumours were removed and the 76-year-old’s breast was reconstructed using body fat across her stomach.
Three surgeons worked on her for eight-and-a-half hours and she ended up in the Intensive Care Unit for four days with dangerously low blood pressure.
Ms d’Alpuget said if it weren’t for the ICU and being pumped ‘full of drugs’ to stabilise her blood pressure, she would have died.
Since the surgery she was told the operation was a success and is now undergoing immunotherapy which will ‘recognise cancer cells and jump on them’.
The cancer diagnosis came just two months before Mr Hawke’s daughter Rosslyn Dillon, 59, had a legal stoush with the 76-year-old over the former prime minister’s estate.
Ms d’Alpuget (left) and Mr Hawke (right) arrive for his 80th birthday party at the Sydney Opera House
Ms d’Alpuget faced her stepdaughter for a private mediation on May 7 – less than two weeks before the first anniversary of Mr Hawke’s death.
That case revealed friction between 59-year-old Ms Dillon and 76-year-old Ms d’Alpuget but was settled out of court in May with the terms to remain confidential.
The former prime minister, who held office from 1983 until 1991, died aged 89 on May 16, 2019.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s daughter Rosslyn Dillon wants $4.2million from her father’s estate
Ms d’Alpuget said she was happy with the outcome despite it being a ‘challenge’.
Mr Hawke didn’t leave a cent to his three children he raised with his first wife Hazel but the entire estate – including most of the $9.2million proceeds of selling a Sydney harbourfront home – went to Ms d’Alpuget.
Documents revealed the only gifts the Labor legend left to his children were five sentimental mementos including a photograph of Mr Hawke as a youth with his beloved father Clem.
Each of Mr Hawke’s children and Ms d’Alpuget’s son were reportedly given $750,000 from the sale of the Northbridge mansion but they were not provided with any money in his will.
Mr Hawke’s death exposed divisions in his family and led to fights over the distribution of his wealth – estimated to be at least $18million.
There were squabbles over his personal belongings being put up for public auction which led to items disappearing from the catalogue and being withdrawn from sale.
Mr Hawke was Australia’s longest serving Labor prime minister, winning federal elections in 1983, 1984, 1987 and 1990 before going on to be a successful businessman.
Australia’s longest-serving Labor Prime Minister: The life and times of Bob Hawke
- Born December 9, 1929 in Bordertown South Australia.
- A decade later his family moved to Perth, following the death of older brother Neil.
- Attended Perth Modern School before studying law at the University of Western Australia.
- Almost died in a motorbike accident.
- Took up a Rhodes scholarship but was only able to after his fiancee Hazel Masterton had an abortion, as it was only open to single men.
- While his research focused on wage determination, he became better known at Oxford for making the Guinness Book of Records for downing two and a half pints of beer in 12 seconds.
- After returning to Australia and marrying Hazel, he joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
- By 1969 he was ACTU president and the nation’s best known politician outside parliament.
MP to Prime Minister
- First attempted to enter parliament in 1963, losing to Liberal Hubert Opperman.
- Elected federal president of the Labor Party in 1973, while also ACTU president.
- He was prominent in protests in Canberra after the governor-general dismissed the Labor Whitlam government in 1975.
- Entered federal parliament at the 1980 election as MP for the Victorian seat of Wills.
- Became leader of the Labor Party February 1983, less than a month before the Liberal Fraser government called the election.
- Led the ALP to victory and became prime minister with the campaign slogan Bringing Australia Together.
Achievements as Prime Minister
- Opened the economy by floating the dollar and deregulating the financial system.
- Cut tariffs and reformed the tax system.
- Established Medicare in 1984.
- Led international efforts to protect Antarctica from mining and to save Tasmania’s Franklin Dam.
- Increased the old-age pension, doubled public housing funds and the number of childcare places.
- Established the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation.
- Campaigned against apartheid in South Africa.
Downfall as Prime Minister
- In late 1988 Hawke and treasurer Paul Keating signed the Kirribilli House pact, where he promises to hand over to Mr Keating after the 1990 election.
- He reneged on the deal.
- After one failed attempt, Mr Keating toppled him in December 1991. It was the first time Labor voted out a serving prime minister.
- Married Hazel Masterson in Perth in 1956 and they divorced in 1995.
- The couple had four children: Susan, Stephen, Roslyn and Robert.
- He remarried in 1995 to Blanche d’Alpuget, the author of his 1982 biography.
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Letters penned by PM reveal he requested Dan Andrews to accept army troops, which were declined
Scott Morrison personally wrote to Daniel Andrews three times urging the Victorian premier to accept 1,000 Australian Defence Force troops to help the state fight coronavirus, bombshell letters have revealed.
Details of the letters, obtained by Sky News through Freedom of Information laws, were revealed on Wednesday night.
The letters were written as Victoria’s second horror coronavirus wave that would later send the state into lockdown began to spiral out of control.
Mr Morrison first wrote to the Premier on July 4.
‘I note with concern that the Victorian COVID-19 case numbers have escalated to 108 cases today, as part of an increased trend of cases during the past week,’ he wrote.
‘The Commonwealth stands ready to provide any support needed on top of the existing measures in place, including Australian Defence Force support to support planning and logistics, and Commonwealth staff to support clinical efforts, community engagement and contact tracing,”
The Prime Minister followed up with another letter three days later on July 7, followed by a third on July 11.
‘It is critical to the containment of the virus that the now thousands of people in isolation and quarantine are carefully tracked by phone and personal visits to ensure compliance (and to ensure their welfare),’ Mr Morrison stressed.
Mr Andrews responded on July 5, 7, 12 and 14, declining offers of Commonwealth support.
More to come.
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