Despite many years in the spotlight, Ellen DeGeneres is still one of the biggest stars in the entertainment business. But her reputation took a major hit in 2020 when a flurry of people began making negative accusations about her on social media. As a result of that, DeGeneres’ bodyguard from the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony felt compelled to share his own alleged experiences.
Since 2003 DeGeneres has been a mainstay on the small screen thanks to her daytime talk show. The hugely popular series has subsequently picked up over 80 awards down the years – including gongs at the Daytime Emmys. However, the star found herself in a spot of bother in March 2020.
Problems began for DeGeneres that month following a tweet from a comedian. Kevin Porter accused the host of being “one of the meanest people alive” and encouraged social media users to post their own “insane stories” about DeGeneres’ alleged negative attitude. And he devised a crafty way to encourage responses from other users.
Porter promised to donate $2 to the LA Regional Food Bank for each tale about DeGeneres. And his tweet led to a huge number of responses from people who claimed to have worked with the TV personality.
After Porter’s tweet went viral in the spring, someone who said that they were an ex-employee from DeGeneres’ daytime talk show came forward to speak with the New York Post. And over the course of their conversation, they dropped a bombshell.
When episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show start wrap up, the host usually asks her audience to “be kind” to each other. Yet, according to the unnamed employee, she doesn’t follow that advice herself – backing up Porter’s claim.
“The stories are all true!” the apparent ex-worker told the paper in May 2020. “Is [DeGeneres] always nice? No. It irritates me that people think she’s all sweetness and light and she gets away with it.” Elsewhere, another supposed former employee on the show had their own anecdote to share with the world.
The individual in question once allegedly plied their trade as an associate producer on the program. And talking to the New York Post, they looked back on a moment that apparently took place behind the scenes some time ago. According to them, DeGeneres was struggling to read an iPhone message after misplacing her glasses.
The ex-employee claimed, “[DeGeneres] stopped everything and made a call. Next thing we know, we literally hear [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs pick up and say, ‘Hi, [DeGeneres].’ [She] told him the iPhone should have a bigger font. That’s her. She just lives in an incredibly privileged bubble and is out of touch with the real world.”
But while those individuals offered up an intriguing glimpse of DeGeneres’ alleged attitude away from the camera, more negativity continued to come her way. Going back to Twitter, a social media user claimed that an acquaintance of theirs once held a position on the star’s show. Then, their life apparently changed forever.
The Twitter user said, “After working for [DeGeneres] for over five years, [a] close friend left to have [a] baby, and found a different job on a union network show [which provided benefits]. [DeGeneres] begged her to return, [and] then fired her after one week – no reason given. And [my] friend struggled for a long time with [her] new baby and no benefits.”
Meanwhile, another individual came forward on the platform with allegations of their own. And this tale dated back to when they were a teenager. During that time, the person had apparently decided to take part in a competition for the daytime talk show.
The user wrote, “When I was 15, The Ellen DeGeneres Show was doing a contest of fans making a bust of [the host] and sending it to her. I worked so hard on this and even wrote her a letter. Weeks later, she used it as a prop in a game and gave it away to a random person, with $500 attached to the bottom.”
The Twitter user included a photograph of herself working on the sculpture. She also posted two screenshots from the aforementioned episode – highlighting that a guest lifted it up to reveal the money. And that particular message went on to earn over 7,000 likes and more than 400 retweets on Twitter.
As the stories on social media continued to pour in, another person from DeGeneres’ past then decided to come forward. His name is Tom Majercak, and he held the senior manager of operations position at a company called Security Imagery Specialists (SIS). And ahead of the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony, he was given an important assignment.
Majercak was asked to take on the role of DeGeneres’ bodyguard at that event, as she hosted the show for a second time. The television star first helmed the ceremony back in 2007 – following on from Jon Stewart’s effort the previous year. After accepting the job again, she joined an illustrious list of names to host the ceremony twice.
As always, the 2014 Oscars was jam-packed with memorable moments. The hit movie 12 Years a Slave proved to be the big winner on the night – taking home the Best Picture gong. It also secured another two awards in the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress categories.
Elsewhere, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity scored seven victories from ten Academy Award nominations, including the Best Director prize. Dallas Buyers Club was a success story that evening too, as the film won both the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor gongs. But it could be argued that DeGeneres stole the show.
One of the most memorable segments during the event involved DeGeneres welcoming a pizza delivery man on the stage. Armed with different boxes, she encouraged the stars in attendance to grab themselves a slice. And the pizza man – co-owner of Big Mama’s & Papa’s Edgar Martirosyan – made a $1,000 tip out of the job.
Speaking after the event on DeGeneres’ talk show, Martirosyan revealed that he had no idea what was going to happen before entering the theater. He explained in 2014, “I was shocked. I didn’t know it was going to be something [like] this. It was really crazy.”
Surprisingly, though, DeGeneres had another trick up her sleeve that got the world talking. At a certain point in the Oscars ceremony, she walked down the aisle and encouraged several actors to pose for a selfie. So, with Bradley Cooper holding the camera, the likes of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts got into the photo.
DeGeneres then posted the selfie on her official Twitter account that evening. And in the accompanying message, the host wrote, “If only [Cooper’s] arm was longer. Best photo ever.” Not long after that, the star-studded picture quickly went viral, and it became one of the biggest stories of the night.
DeGeneres’ photo went on to earn over two million likes and more than three million retweets on the social media platform. No other picture in Twitter’s history had been shared that many times before, according to Time. The selfie was also included in the magazine’s 100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time.
So, while DeGeneres was making history and entertaining the audience on stage, Majercak watched on from the sidelines. After the Oscars, he continued to look after the star, her mom and wife Portia de Rossi, too. But according to Majercak, this job was unlike any other that he’d taken on for SIS.
Majercak finally decided to share his alleged experience from that night during an interview with Fox News in May 2020. Apparently, the social media backlash against DeGeneres had prompted him to come forward. And some of his claims seemed to mirror those made by others about the TV host.
Majercak said, “I’m holding their hands and walking them through individuals and large groups of people. [DeGeneres] is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – [who] has never taken the time to say hi to me.”
Prior to that, though, Majercak claimed that his evening at the Academy Awards got off to a good start. He informed Fox News that de Rossi was “very pleasant and carried on a conversation” with him in the early stages. But according to the bodyguard, it was all downhill from there.
Majercak said, “It started going negatively when [de Rossi] introduced me to [DeGeneres]. [She] pretty much just gave me a side glance out of her eye and didn’t even say ‘Hello,’ or, ‘Thank you for protecting my mother, my wife and me.’ It was very cold and it was very sly.”
“It was actually kind of demeaning in the way that [DeGeneres] treats people other than those who are in her circle,” Majercak added. The ex-SIS employee then shed some light on what allegedly transpired after the ceremony concluded. He joined DeGeneres and her party as they made their way over to the famous Governor’s Ball event.
According to Majercak, DeGeneres only allowed certain stars to speak to her at her table during the event. The ex-bodyguard claimed that she’d “pre-approved” a list of names before the ball got started. He told Fox News, “It’s bugged me for years.”
Majercak continued, “I see this person come across as being very enlightened and positive and awesome, and everybody loves her and is in awe [of her]. [But] that’s really not the case when you meet her in person.” He then went on to make an interesting observation.
Majercak said that he thought DeGeneres’ alleged behavior towards him came as a result of the stress she was under as host. Yet as time went on, his views began to change when the negative anecdotes emerged on social media in 2020. Now, he holds an entirely different opinion.
“When you see [DeGeneres] on TV, people fall in love with her but it is a false facade and bravado,” Majercak said. “You start hearing these stories and I was like, ‘Man, there’s got to be more to this.’ She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society. That’s my opinion.”
Majercak went on to say that DeGeneres did do a terrific job at the Oscars in 2014. However, the former bodyguard believes that the television star should be honest about the kind of person that he says she is away from the camera.
Majercak added, “I can absolutely see through interacting with [DeGeneres] first-hand that she doesn’t care about anybody else as long as she’s getting what she wants. People are starting to see her true self, and that really lends to the support of what my initial thoughts of her have been over the last six years.”
Off the back of Majercak’s interview with Fox News, another security company raised an interesting point on social media. The World Protection Group shared the article via its Facebook page in May 2020. And in the accompanying post, the firm questioned the status of his confidentiality agreement before talking to the station.
Meanwhile, as the backlash against DeGeneres showed no signs of abating on social media, one of her colleagues offered a different perspective. Mary Connelly – who plies her trade as an executive producer on the star’s talk show – spoke to the New York Post. And according to her, the stories paint an inaccurate picture.
Connelly told the newspaper in May 2020, “None of what’s being said speaks to the [woman] I know. Do the producers and her sometimes have to make unpopular decisions? Yes. [DeGeneres] is not afraid to tell you when she doesn’t like something. She’s had tough conversations with me. That’s a function of everyday life.”
“But the person I know is someone who comes in every day and wants to put on a fun show in a fun environment and help people,” Connelly concluded. Alongside her, an ex-employee of the show came forward to bat for DeGeneres as well. His name is Steven Mazan, and his comments could be tied back to one of Majercak’s previous claims.
Mazan informed the New York Post, “One of the things I liked about [DeGeneres] was that behind the scenes she had a darker sense of humor. I never saw her as vindictive. I think people want to believe [that the person you see on TV is really her]. But nobody is that uncomplicated.”