Just when it seemed like things could not get any worse for Ellen DeGeneres, an Australian television host has come forward to talk about a “bizarre” encounter he allegedly had with her that lends credence to the claims about her diva-like behavior behind the scenes.
Australian television and radio host Neil Breen just came forward to recount an experience he had trying to set up an interview with DeGeneres back in 2013, when he was executive producer of the Australian version of the “TODAY” show. While the initial plan was for DeGeneres to cohost the morning show, the producers kept changing the plan until they set it up so that she wasn’t even going to come to Sydney, where the show is filmed.
“The whole thing got watered down to, Ellen DeGeneres would do a sit-down interview, right?” Breen told 4BC. “We took the whole ‘Today’ show to Melbourne at our expense but she would do a sit-down interview with Richard Wilkins. So Richard Wilkins and I went to one of the flashy hotels in Melbourne, where this was all set up, just the two of us. Of course, because it’s the ‘Ellen Show,’ they controlled everything. So they controlled the interview seats, the lights, how it would work, everything.”
After sarcastically calling this meeting a “brush with fame” for him and Wilkins, Breen revealed the bizarre set of rules he was told to follow when meeting DeGeneres.
“We walk in and then the ‘Ellen Show’ producers, there was a lot of them, there was a lot of people there,” he explained. “Anyway the producers called us aside and said ‘OK this is how it’s going to work here this morning. Ellen is going to arrive at 10:15 and she’ll be sitting in this chair here and Richard you’ll be sitting in this chair here. Now Neil, no one is to talk to Ellen. So you don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her, she’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard and then Ellen will leave and we’ll give you the thing.”
The seasoned host said he was shocked by the demands and asked DeGeneres’ team how he could possibly interview her without looking her in the eye.
“I found the whole thing bizarre,” he said.
Once DeGeneres arrived, Breen said her producers had an exaggerated reaction to everything that came out of her mouth, and that they would “giggle and laugh” at “everything she said.” He finally had to tell them to be quiet, just so he could get through the interview.
He concluded by saying he did not know whether or not DeGeneres was a bad person, simply because he barely got to interact with her.
“I’m not blaming Ellen because I didn’t get to talk to her because I wasn’t allowed to,” Breen said. “So, I don’t know if she’s a nice person or not. I don’t have a clue. But I can tell you the people who work with her walked on eggshells the whole time and the whole thing was totally bizarre. Like, we’re there to do an interview to promote what she’s doing, but you can’t look at her? Someone get real.”
DeGeneres has been hit with numerous accusations of rude behavior behind the scenes over the past few months, and her show is now under investigation after claims of a toxic work environment were made by current and former employees. Given that DeGeneres’ brand is all about “being kind,” the future of her career is not looking so great right now.