STRESSED Ellen DeGeneres makes a phone call as she's seen for the first time since claims emerged she has enabled a "toxic work culture" on her hit daytime show.
In photos obtained exclusively by The Sun, the 62-year-old comedian was pictured as she walked around her Montecito neighborhood on Friday.
Ellen took a solo stroll in what was her first public appearance since the latest bombshell accusations against her talk show.
The Emmy winner displayed a serious facial expression as she chatted on her cell near her $27million California mansion.
She kept her look casual in khaki cargo shorts, a navy T-shirt, a white Lacoste sports cap and a necklace of the letter “P” – the initial of wife, Portia de Rossi.
The tense outing comes after months of accusations that the Finding Dory star is “mean” and "enabled a toxic' workplace environment."
After the series of allegations, the actress reportedly wants to quit the show.
An insider revealed to DailyMail that the longtime host is ready to “shut down the show” after many employees have come forward in the last few weeks claiming the work culture there is “toxic.”
The Telepictures source said: “She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show.
“The truth is she knew what was going on, it’s her show.
“The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun – but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame.”
Yesterday, former staffers alleged that senior executives who work behind the scenes "groped" and "kissed" employees – and solicited one of them for oral sex.
Buzzfeed News claimed they spoke with a total of 36 staffers about their experiences on set.
One ex-employee alleged Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, solicited him for oral sex at a company party in 2013.
Others claim they saw Leman grope and kiss employees, while nearly a dozen told the publication he often made sexually explicit comments about colleagues.
He is alleged to have preyed on employees who were younger and lower-level, and therefore did not feel brave enough to lodge a HR complaint.
In a separate interview earlier this month, Ellen employees revealed bombshell accusations they suffered from "racism, fear and intimidation” on set.
One current and 10 former crew members from the daytime series spoke to BuzzfeedNews about the “toxic work environment” but remained anonymous due to fear of retribution.
The outlet said some staff claimed to have been fired because they took medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals.
What are the allegations about Ellen DeGeneres being ‘mean’ and why is she getting so much backlash?
Ellen DeGeneres has recently faced backlash after reports emerged that the host is "mean" and "rude" to her staff and guests.
Several people that have either worked with or visited Ellen's show are coming forward to denounce her sunny image, claiming that behind the scenes, the comedian is a different person.
Current staff echo those sentiments and are reportedly “distressed and outraged over their treatment."
“Is she always nice? No,” said a former staffer. “It irritates me that people think she’s all sweetness and light and she gets away with it.”
The host was recently the subject of a viral Twitter thread that centered on the topic DeGeneres was the “meanest person alive”, encouraging people to share any personal stories they had to validate the theory.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ellen staff claim that they have been cast aside by their famous boss.
Others alleged they were instructed by their managers to not speak directly to Ellen if they saw her at the office.
A black woman, who once worked for Ellen, told the website that she experienced “racist comments, actions, and microaggressions” during her year and a half as an employee.
An internal investigation was launched earlier this week by the show's parent company WarnerMedia after the employees came forward.
Once the allegations were made, Ellen issued an apology letter to her staff.
She wrote: “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect.
"Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry.”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner released a joint statement to the outlet, claiming they take the stories "very seriously" and admitted they need to "do better."
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