Ellen Degeneres is continuing to feel the heat from former staffers over her alleged behind-the-scenes bad behaviour.
The latest accusation comes from a former bodyguard who worked to protect the TV host at the 2014 Oscars, Tom Majercak, a senior manager of operations for Security Imagery Specialists (SIS).
In a damning interview with Fox News, Majercak describes DeGeneres as being “cold,” alleging she would not give him any eye contact, and treated him in a “demeaning” manner.
“I’m holding their hands and walking them through individuals and large groups of people. 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,” Majercak claimed to Fox.
However, the former security official – who left his security company last year – claimed he spent “a lot of time” with Ellen’s wife Portia De Rossi, who was “very pleasant and carried on a conversation.”
“It started going negatively when she introduced me to Ellen and Ellen pretty much just gave me a side glance out of her eye and didn’t even say ‘hello,’ or ‘thank you for protecting my mother, my wife and me,'” Majercak added.
“It was very cold and it was very sly and it was actually kind of demeaning in the way that she treats people other than those who are in her circle.”
The Fox report says that representatives for DeGeneres did not respond to their request for comment.
“When you see her on TV, people fall in love with her but it is a false facade and bravado,” he added. “You start hearing these stories and I was like, ‘Man, there’s got to be more to this.’ She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society. That’s my opinion.”
Majercak says he felt compelled to speak out about DeGeneres after seeing recent reports of her behaviour, particularly from transgender YouTube star NikkieTutorials, who also described the host as ‘cold.’
The 25-year-old Dutch beauty influencer, whose real name is Nikkie de Jager, opened up about a January interview in a new piece for local magazine &C, in which she compared The Ellen Show to ‘Teletubbies after dark’.
Nikkie, who first voiced her upset over the interview during an appearance on Dutch show De Wereld Draait Door in February, added that she was disappointed by her treatment in the studio – where she was greeted by an ‘angry, overworked intern’.
‘Maybe I’m being naive, but I expected them to welcome me with confetti: “Welcome to The Ellen DeGeneres Show!”‘ she said in an interview.
But instead I got greeted by an angry intern, who was a bit overworked. I expected a Disney show, but I got a Teletubbies after dark.’
During her appearance with De Wereld Draait Door, Nikkie also revealed that Ellen didn’t even say hello to her when she arrived, telling host Matthijs van Nieuwkerk: ‘It’s really nice that you came over and said hello to me… She didn’t.’
Ellen has also been criticized by her TV crew for poor communication and severe pay cuts while she hosts show from home with non-union production staff during lockdown.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s main stage crew, which is comprised of roughly 30 people, received ‘no communication’ about issues like pay and working hours for over a month, an insider told Variety in a recent report.
To make matters worse, the crew was also ‘furious’ upon learning that the daytime talk show host hired a non-union tech company to help DeGeneres broadcast daily from her home in California.
Two sources at Ellen’s show, speaking to Variety under conditions of anonymity, said that ‘higher-ups in production would occasionally answer phone calls but reveal little’ about their status.
Crew members finally heard from production executives last week, when they were told to expect a whopping 60% pay decrease, even while the show continues airing.
Meanwhile, Ellen herself is said to have a $77million per year contract for her talk show. Her total net worth is estimated to be a whopping $330million.
Sources added that there are only four of the core crew members who are currently working on the remote version of Ellen, according to Variety.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. Television made it clear the crew is still getting paid, though they confirmed their hours are reduced.
‘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.’
Still, insiders speaking to the industry publication claim that for over two weeks, from late March until April 9, the crew were never told how much they would be paid.
Things began turning sour for the renowned talk show host when her alleged ‘mean’ behavior became a talking point on Twitter last month.
Comedian Kevin T. Porter kicked the entire social media movement, when he sent out a tweet urging people to message him ‘the most insane stories [they’ve] heard’ about DeGeneres in an effort to raise money for the Los Angeles Food Bank.
Shortly after posting, Porter was flooded with written accounts by various Twitter users who claimed to have had less than savory interactions with Ellen – who he labeled as ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’ – over the years.