Watch: 'The Viewers Fired Her' — Former Producer Slams Ellen DeGeneres

Sunday May 16, 2021
Originally published on May 15, 2021

Ellen DeGeneres announced on Thursday that she is quitting her talk show not because of accusations of a toxic website, but because "she is looking to do something different," EDGE reported on Thursday. But within hours she played the victim card, claiming on the Today Show that the negative reporting about her over the past year was "something was going on that that, because it was too orchestrated, it was too coordinated."

She added: "And, you know, people get picked on but for four months straight for me, and then for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment, when, when all I've ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is, and how, what a happy place it is."

Her comment ignored the fact that one guest, trans social media influencer NikkieTutorials, helped kick off the backlash last year by posting about her negative experience when she appeared on the show. "I was expecting a Disney show, but got Teletubbies after dark," she told the Dutch publication &C in an interview that was translated by E!.

Nor did DeGeneres specifically deny the claims by staff members who went public over the toxic workplace environment that led her to apologize to staff and fire three executive producers last summer. But one disgruntled worker came forth on Australian television on Thursday to say that it was the viewers who canceled Ellen.

Hedda Muskat, who was one of the first people hired in 2003 when the show first premiered, had the job of "booking human interest" guests, reported Pink News. But on May 13 she "hit out at Ellen DeGeneres during an appearance on Australian Channel 7's Sunrise program."

"Her ratings have been in the toilet for a long, long time now. Her show has not been fun, it has not been interesting, and she's not really, by the way, stepping down. The viewers fired her," Muskat said.

"The viewers feel duped in a way that she's not this nice person, and the viewers are not going to put up with the backstage racism that goes on, and the backstage bullying that goes on. So I think the viewers have woken up finally."

She also described her difficulties with working with the talk show icon. "The Emmy-winning producer said DeGeneres 'looked away' and 'showed no interest' during pitch meetings, and would make snide comments about non-celebrity guests."

She said: "We had to walk on eggshells with her because when we would be pitching, her snide remarks would be: 'What am I going to talk to them about? I don't know, I have nothing to say, I don't know.'

"So we would write the whole outline for her and the guests would walk off feeling like crap, so it wasn't goodwill for the show."

Muskat added: "I was not able to have any connection with her, make eye contact, and here's the thing — it's not just me or three of us. There were over 100 employees over the 19 years that walked away with this sickened feeling about working there.

"As much as I loved my job as a booker and producer, I was almost relieved when I got fired because it was like, 'I want to take a shower.' It was like a whole new dawn."

When Nat, one of the Sunrise hosts, interjected that Muskat was pretty scathing, she said that perhaps Ellen should "work on a farm where she can relate with all the animals and the pets and the dogs and the cows and the pigs because she can relate to animals far more than she does with people."