Ellen DeGeneres ‘begged staff to look her in the eye’ while insisting she’s ‘introverted – not mean’

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres reportedly addressed rumours staff are forbidden from making eye contact with her in an emotional Zoom call announcing the departure of three top producers.

The comedian is said to have spoken with employees Monday afternoon (August 18), announcing the news that three of The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s producers have been fired amid allegations of misconduct.

DeGeneres apologised for “letting the ball drop a bit”, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and addressed allegations levelled at her own behaviour: namely that she is “mean” and standoffish.

The outlet reports that DeGeneres described herself as “introverted”, explaining that while she likes her own space, she cares about “each and every one of you”.

“I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and try to learn from my mistakes,” she said, according to the report.

Ellen DeGeneres addressed ‘crazy’ rumours employees aren’t allowed to look at her.

DeGeneres also addressed the “unspoken rule” that staff aren’t allowed to make eye contact with her, sources told Page Six.

“I don’t know where it started,” she was quoted as saying.

“Please talk to me. Look me in the eye. It’s crazy, just not true, I don’t know how it started. [It’s] not who I am.”


Ellen DeGeneres presenting from her living room. (FOX via Getty Images)

WarnerMedia, which makes the show, has confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, as well as co-executive producer Jonathan Norman, have “parted ways” with The Ellen DeGeneres Show as an internal investigation begins to conclude.

Glavin was singled out in an explosive BuzzFeed report into the show’s alleged “toxic” workplace culture that triggered the probe. WarnerMedia reportedly told staff Thursday (13 August) it had confirmed “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management” – but did not name any names. It has not publicly offered any explicit reason for the staffing changes.

All three now-ex producers were accused of sexual misconduct in a follow-up by BuzzFeed. Leman and Norman both emphatically denied any impropriety or harassment. Glavin has not publicly commented, and did not respond to a request for comment from PinkNews.

Leman’s lawyer, Michael Plonsker, said in a statement following news of his firing: “The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man – a popular figure and a creative force behind the Ellen show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen – is shocking. Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment.”