Higher ups at The Ellen DeGeneres Show have reportedly upset union employees of the talk show who have revealed they’ve been left without answers regarding pay, per Variety.
In the new report, DeGeneres’ main stage crew, which consists of approximately 30 people, including camera operators and grips, received no written guidance about the fate of “their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their mental and physical health from producers for over a month.” Insiders close to the outlet revealed that calls to supervisors have only been answered sporadically, leaving many crew members in the dark. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellen taped four days a week, with the last batch of shows shot the week of March 9. The following week was a scheduled spring break hiatus. The crew was last paid in full for the week of March 16.
Additionally, the entire crew was recently told to brace themselves for a 60 percent pay cut. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Television told Variety that the TV crew has been consistently paid, albeit to reflect fewer hours worked. “Our executive producers and Telepictures are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind,” the spokesperson said, admitting that communication could have been better.
DeGeneres has been taping her show remotely from her home in California, so frustration only grew when an outside, non-union tech company called Key Code Media was hired to help the comedian tape and the crew members learned of the move via social media in early April. “Due to social distancing requirements, technical changes in the way the show is produced had to be made to comply with city ordinances and public health protocols,” the Warner Bros. rep said.