Breen ‘didn’t bat an eyelid over Ellen’
4BC radio host Neil Breen has addressed his infamous run-in with Ellen DeGeneres, saying he "didn't bat an eyelid" when her reputation began to publicly sour.
Last week, Breen revealed he had a run-in with the talk show host's producers while organising an interview for the Today Show during her Australia visit in 2013.
"So Neil when Ellen gets here today, you're not to approach her, you're not to talk to her, she'll come down and sit down with Richard and you're not to look at her," he recalled being told by DeGeneres' producers.
"I kind of said you can't be fair dinkum - I can't look at her?!"
Speaking to A Current Affair, he said he wasn't surprised that her show was now in jeopardy.
"As soon as I first saw reports surface there were troubles behind the scenes at Ellen's show, I didn't bat an eyelid," the 4BC host said.
Earlier this week, the Ellen Show's former DJ has broken his silence about allegations of a toxic work environment on the daytime talk show, saying he experienced the "toxicity".
Tony Okungbowa appeared on the show from 2003-2006 and 2007-2013 before being replaced by Stephen "tWitch" Boss.
In an Instagram post, Okungbowa wrote: "I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen DeGeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there … While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward."
Okungbowa's comments follow last month's bombshell Buzzfeed report in which a group of former and current Ellen Show staff sensationally spoke out against the program.
Ten former and one current Ellen employee - all speaking anonymously - described a "toxic work environment" with a culture of "racism, fear and intimidation".
"That 'be kind' bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show," one former employee was quoted as saying.
Former employees alleged to Buzzfeed that they'd been fired for taking medical leave, attending family funerals, and one for posting a selfie in the office on her Instagram Stories.
One person who escaped relatively lightly in the article: Ellen herself. She barely figured in the employee complaints, aside from one employee alleging they were told never to talk to her if they saw her around the office.
In a statement to Buzzfeed, the show's executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner insisted that "the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
As a result of the allegations, an internal investigation into the show was launched by WarnerMedia. That investigation is ongoing.
And last week, just hours after an apology letter from Ellen to her staff was published, dozens of former Ellen staffers spoke out in a shocking new Buzzfeed report, alleging sexual misconduct from several top producers on her show.
- with Andrew Bucklow
Originally published as Breen 'didn't bat an eyelid over Ellen'