Saturday, April 13, 2024

This is Very Bad: Former Ellen DeGeneres On-Air DJ Tony Okungbowa Calls Out Show for “Toxicity of Environment”


Was The Ellen Show never a good place to work? DJ Tony Okungbowa was there on air with Ellen from the beginning, from 2003 for three years, and then from 2007- 2013. He was a very buoyant pleasant Ed McMahon/Doc Severinsen foil for Ellen and helped create her whole “dance” persona that really lifted her up in the ratings.

But now Tony says on Instagram and Twitter that it was all an act, and calls out the show for its “toxicity of environment.” What he doesn’t say is why he left for four years, why he returned, and left again after six years. But his statement leaves a lot to the imagination. What a shame. All that dancing looked so happy.

Tony writes:

“Hey Guys,
I hope you are all keeping safe out there during these trying times. I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there. I was on air talent from 2003-2006 and from 2007 -2013. While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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