Ellen DeGeneres cannot escape the sharp scrutiny of the public as yet another victim of her self-absorption speaks out. A recent Rolling Stone article reveals that Chance Greyson, who began his career at the age of 12, endured DeGeneres’ manipulation and abandonment — to the point of developing PTSD. Let’s take a look at the long — and growing — list of accusations slamming DeGeneres as manipulative and self-centered.
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Greyson Chance: “I can just see so much PTSD”
Greyson Chance exploded into stardom after performing a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” in an Oklahoma middle school gymnasium. The handheld video has since received over 71 million views on YouTube.
Ellen DeGeneres noticed Chance and invited him on her show. Promising Chance and his family a life of luxury and stardom, she took the young singer-songwriter under her wing. She lavished him with praise on her show, co-started record label eleveneleven for him (distributed by Interscope Geffen A&M Records) and signed him on. She hooked him up with the same producers as Madonna and Lady Gaga, got him brand and booking agents, and a publicist.
Chance, now 25, told Rolling Stone that DeGeneres said, “I’m going to protect you. I’m going to be here for you. We’re going to do this together.” But then her behavior became controlling and manipulative.
DeGeneres allegedly had Chance under her thumb. She made executive decisions about what he wore. For instance, he couldn’t wear leather because she wanted to portray herself as a vegan. She made him retake an entire pre-recorded performance for an outside network one time. And she would contact his teacher and mother to negotiate his schedule so that he could perform for her when she wanted.
DeGeneres then sent Chance and his mother a video of Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never documentary and asked him to watch it. She wanted Chance to emulate Bieber. But when Chance became too busy and exhausted to make the time to watch it, DeGeneres berated both him and his mother.
DeGeneres Berated Chance and His Mother
“What type of mother are you?” Chance says he heard DeGeneres yell over the phone. “Do you realize that I went out of my way to get this for you, and he can’t sit down and watch it?”
And then to Chance, she said, “Disappointed isn’t even remotely what I’m feeling right now.”
When Chance’s popularity died down, DeGeneres completely dropped him from all labels and management. She became cold and distant. He says that she wouldn’t talk to or acknowledge him off-camera but would act like they were tight friends onscreen. This behavior continued over the course of years as Chance was occasionally asked to return to her show.
Rolling Stone reports that Chance developed a habit of drinking small bottles of vodka to deal with the anxiety he felt around DeGeneres. He completely stopped making music, studying history instead. Eventually, he returned to his passion and went on to produce and release music on his own initiative.
Ellen DeGeneres’ Show was “A Place of Active Trauma” for Greyson Chance
The final time that Chance returned to DeGeneres’ show was in 2019. At that point, he referred to the location as “a place of active trauma.”
“She came out during soundcheck, and she looked at me, hugged me,” he said. “And she said, ‘How have you been?’ And that just killed me inside because I was like, ’What do you mean how have I fucking been? Where have you been?”
Chance also said that DeGeneres acknowledged that he’d come out as gay and praised him, but in a way that made him feel like she was implying it was due to her. He said that “behind the scenes, [she’s] an incredibly manipulative person.”
“When I look at the interviews and I look at my eyes, I can see so much anxiety,” chance told Rolling Stone. “I can just see so much PTSD because I’m there holding on for dear life going, ‘I need this TV gig,’… I was 100 percent faking it, and [I felt like] she’s 100 percent faking it with me, too.”
Rosie O’Donnell: “‘We’re not friends'”
Rosie O’Donnell recently came out with her own personal story of how Ellen DeGeneres is manipulative and self-centered. While on Watch What Happens: Live, O’Donnell told Andy Cohen that there’s a reason why she never went on her show.
DeGeneres had said something to Larry King about O’Donnell that hurt her feelings. “I never really got over it,” O’Donnell told Cohen.
When asked about O’Donnell — who had notoriously invited DeGeneres onto her show in the past — DeGeneres said, “I don’t know Rosie. We’re not friends.”
This of course is messed up, because it was on Rosie O’Donnel’s show where Ellen DeGeneres first eased into her whole admission of coming out as gay. The two comedians shared a hilarious dialogue of banter, joking about being “Lebanese.”
DeGeneres was introduced as “my buddy” by O’Donnell that day.
So, when Ellen DeGeneres later told Larry King that she didn’t know Rosie O’Donnell and that they weren’t friends, it obviously hurt some feelings.
Ellen DeGeneres’ Bodyguard: “She’s cold”
Fox News reported that a former bodyguard of Ellen DeGeneres came out to talk about her callous behavior towards him. Assigned to the star and her family for the 2014 Oscars, Tom Majercak said that he’d never had anyone treat him the way she did. He’d been a bodyguard for an entire decade by the time he was asked to protect DeGeneres during her hosting gig.
“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 told Fox. “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.”
Majercak says that Ellen DeGeneres’ treatment of him bothered him for years.
“I see this person come across as being very enlightened and positive and awesome and everybody loves her and is in awe and that’s really not the case when you meet her in person.”
11 Former Employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show
In July 2020, Buzzfeed News published a scathing exposé of the rampant mistreatment of Ellen DeGeneres Show employees. They alleged a toxic workplace, sexual harassment, racism and discrimination, and callous disregard of person emergencies. One employee lost their job immediately after returning to work from a mental health crisis and suicide attempt.
“You’d think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives,” said the employee. “Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there’s a stigma… They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.”
Buzzfeed corroborated the employees’ accusations with medical records and witness statements. Numerous employees implied or directly stated that the overall brand of Ellen DeGeneres was a façade, while the reality behind-the-scenes was quite hellish. Employees who never complained were gifted Jet Blue gift cards and iPhones, while those who voiced concerns were told to put up with it or leave.
“We all have a kind of ‘this isn’t normal’ feeling about how people get treated there,” said one former employee. “And there’s this ushering out the door. Or your contract isn’t renewed the minute you ruffle anyone’s feathers. Or you don’t show that you’re extremely grateful and appreciative to work there.”
Is Ellen Degeneres’ Toxicity Catching Up With Her?
The article is widely considered to be the reason why the show was pulled off the air. Three producers were initially fired after the accusations were publicized. As Rolling Stone points out, the producers seemed to insulate DeGeneres from the brunt of the blame.
While Ellen DeGeneres did apologize for the behavior of the producers, she later claimed that her show was taken off the air due to her own choice. She attributed a lack of artistic inspiration to the move to end the show. But after all these other accusations, it seems that there could be more to the whole story.