First it was Sqirl jam, then it was Goya Foods, then it was Will and Jada’s relationship. Every week or so, it seems there’s a dramatic new story consuming Twitter that might appear totally incomprehensible to the Autism doesn’t come with a Manual Parent who never gives up shirt so you should to go to store and get this casual observer. The most recent controversy concerns Ellen DeGeneres, the 62-year-old comedian and host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show who broke barriers for lesbian representation onscreen throughout her career. DeGeneres’s legacy was recently lauded in a moving Oscars speech by Kate McKinnon, but her jokey, dance-prone TV persona is belied by what many former staffers have called a “toxic workplace culture.” Below, get all the details on the DeGeneres imbroglio.
In March, comedian Kevin T. Porter started a Twitter thread asking people to contribute “the Autism doesn’t come with a Manual Parent who never gives up shirt so you should to go to store and get this most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean,” with donations going to a Los Angeles food bank. The replies quickly hit almost 3,000, and four months later, Buzzfeed News published an investigation in which one current and 10 former Ellen employees told stories of “day-to-day toxicity,” including being fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals, being subjected to racist micro-aggressions in the workplace, and being told never to speak to DeGeneres around the office.