There’s a lot to worry about in the world right now, between a pandemic, a consequential election, climate change — and now, Ellen DeGeneres returning to TV. After facing allegations of a toxic workplace over the past months, the talk show host announced The Ellen DeGeneres Show would return for its 18th season on September 21, in-studio during the COVID-19 pandemic. “And yes, we’re gonna talk about it,” DeGeneres said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. Haven’t we been through enough? DeGeneres has only addressed the allegations when speaking to her crew: She apologized to staff in a late July letter, then again during a mid-August video call, when three executive producers were fired for sexual assault and harassment allegations. When her show returns, DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss will be a new executive producer, and will also guest host episodes.
But here’s something she might not be talking about. A former worker at DeGeneres’s California home told the Daily Mail that DeGeneres “was the worst person I met in my entire life.” She fired home workers often, the former employee said, and gave them a daily list of complaints, like that her latte wasn’t frothed adequately or the chef used the guest bathroom. She would sometimes leave matches around the house, the worker claimed, to test if the house was being cleaned. The worker said they were fired after a few months, and had been one of DeGeneres’s longest-working home employees. “She treated you like you were nothing,” they told the Mail.