Ellen DeGeneres Responded to the Rumor That She Doesn't Allow Eye Contact

An Australian producer alleged that no eye contact was one of many "bizarre" rules.

Ellen DeGeneres has been reportedly addressing the allegations of a toxic work environment with staff over the last week via Zoom. In a recent call, sources told Page Six that DeGeneres responded directly to a rumor that she does not allow staff to make eye contact with her.

“I don’t know where it started,” said DeGeneres. “Please talk to me. Look me in the eye.” The outlet also wrote that she called the rumor “insane,” explaining, “it’s crazy, just not true, I don’t know how it started. [It’s] not who I am.”

Reports of the rule surfaced after a producer on "Today" Australia revealed what she was told by Ellen's staff during a 2013 appearance on the show. "[Ellen DeGeneres’] producers called us aside … and said, ‘Now, Neil, no one is to talk to Ellen. You don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her,'” they said on the radio station 4BC. “‘She’ll come in, she’ll sit down, she’ll talk to Richard and then Ellen will leave.’ And I sort of said, ‘I can’t look at her?’ I found the whole thing bizarre,”

In an earlier Zoom call, DeGeneres claimed that the reason these problems were surfacing was that she was introverted and had not been present with all of the staff. "I care about each and every one of you. I am grateful for each and every one of you. I feel like I’ve kind of let the ball drop a bit because I’m focused on the show, I go in and I do the show, and I’ve just let everybody to do their jobs – to run different departments. And it just became a well-oiled machine, and I think that is the problem," she said on the call. The show also reportedly parted ways with producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman.

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