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Ellen’s Crew Furious Over Poor Communication During Coronavirus Shutdown

(Matt Donnelly – Variety) Crew members from Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running daytime talk show are distressed and outraged over their treatment from top producers amid the coronavirus pandemic, numerous insiders affiliated with the series told Variety.

The core stage crew for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” consisting of more than 30 employees, received no written communication about the status of their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their mental and physical health from producers for over a month, said two sources, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity. Higher-ups in production would occasionally answer phone calls but reveal little, added one of the sources. The crew was further incensed by the show’s recent hire of an outside, non-union tech company to help DeGeneres tape remotely from her home in California.

For more than two weeks, from late March through April 9, crew members — from lighting to camera operators to grips — were left in the dark about if and how much they would be paid. Phone calls to crew members from a production coordinator at Telepictures, the Warner Bros. unit that produces “Ellen,” were sporadic and often lacking any information before and after the 14-day blackout.

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