Buzzfeed News spoke with 10 former employees and one current employee who reveal an Ellen workplace where they faced racism, fear and intimidation. “That ‘be kind’ bullsh*t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” said one former employee, who, like the rest, spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.” The former employees confirm rumors that have dogged the Ellen show in recent months that it's especially unkind behind the scenes, with the UK tabloid The Sun asking earlier this month: "Is the Ellen DeGeneres show being canceled?" Comedian Kevin T. Porter's Twitter thread in March asking for stories about DeGeneres being mean seemed to have sparked the latest rumors. DeGeneres also received bad publicity in April when employees complained that she was working with a shadow non-union crew at her home while mistreating employees and leaving them in the dark. Former employees said "they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals," reports Buzzfeed's Krystie Lee Yandoli. "One employee, who claims she was fed up with comments about her race, essentially walked off the job. Others said they were also instructed by their direct managers to not speak to DeGeneres if they saw her around the office. Most of the former employees blamed executive producers and other senior managers for the day-to-day toxicity, but one former employee said that, ultimately, it’s Ellen’s name on the show and 'she really needs to take more responsibility' for the workplace environment." As one former employee put it: “If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what's going on. I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody's happy,’ and she just believes that, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that.” A Black woman recalled that she experienced racist comments, actions and “microaggressions” during her year and a half as an employee, with one of the main writers allegedly telling her, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here." Yandoli reports, based on the former employees, that "there’s a division between staff members who work on the show: people who 'drink the Kool-Aid' and are usually well-liked by producers, and people who recognize the work environment is toxic. Those who push back against senior producers don’t usually have their contracts renewed." Ellen executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said in a joint statement to Buzzfeed they take the stories of the employees "very seriously." "Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment," they said in the statement. "We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us. For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."