Ellen DeGeneres’ children’s book ‘Little Ellen’ has topped a publisher’s list publications teach kids about ‘choosing kindness and bullying prevention’ – despite the star being accused of toxic behavior on the set of her show.
The former talk show host – who has herself been accused of being a bully – posted her delight on social media after the book, titled ‘Little Ellen,’ made the cut on Random House Kids’ list.
It also follows the abrupt cancelation of the HBO Max show upon which the book is based and the end of DeGeneres’ own talk show – which came after a raft of accusations about workplace hostility and bullying from the big boss herself bubbled to the surface.
The animated children’s book, illustrated by Eleanor Michalka and released in May 3 2022, tells the story of DeGeneres, now-64, as a child in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Ellen’s final episode of her eponymous TV show was aired on May 26, 2022.
Little Ellen, the children’s book about DeGenres’ childhood in New Orleans, was included on a list of Random House Kids’ books about kindness and bullying prevention
The book came out on May 3, 2022 – shortly before the famed comedian’s final episode of her long-running daytime talk show – and shortly before the cancelation of the series upon which the book is based
The show ran for two seasons on HBO Max, but was canceled in August. It was about life in New Orleans through the eyes of a young DeGeneres
Ellen (left) pictured with wife Portia de Rossi (right). Prior to the end of Ellen’s long-running show, a raft of claims about abuse, bullying, racism and generally ‘toxic behavior’ behind the scenes bubbled to the surface
‘Get to know Little Ellen and the wonderful world she sees in this book of friendship and groovy moves, perfect for kids with big imaginations and ever bigger hearts!’ reads Barnes and Nobles’ overview section of the title.
‘This joyful picture book promotes empathy and social-emotional learning, with an inclusive voice that encourages kids to be themselves,’ it continues.
Like the now-canceled HBO Max show, ‘Little Ellen’ centers on seven-year-old Ellen DeGeneres and the world around her through her eyes.
Also included on Random House Kids’ list are titles including The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea – a story about one teacher impacting the lives of seven fifth graders – and Answers in the Pages by David Levithan, a story about ‘speaking up and coming out.’
Ellen, who is credited as the book’s author, wrote that she was ‘honored to hear that ‘Little Ellen,’ a book about me as a little girl, was on the Random House Kids list of books about choosing kindness and bullying prevention.’
DeGeneres celebrated her inclusion on the list of books that promote choosing ‘kindness and bullying prevention’
DeGeneres (left) and Rossi (right). DeGeneres denied all knowledge of the bullying etc. on her show and said that the staff included 255 people, few of whom she oversaw directly
In 2020, at least 10 former and then-current employees of the Ellen Show claimed they had faced bullying and racism behind the scenes at the long-running talk show.
The show, which ran from 2003 to 2022, built a brand around the compassionate slogan ‘Be Kind,’ often touted by the show’s namesake.
Staffers who had first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day goings on of production, however, said the charitable endeavors and sloganeering were ‘all for show.’
Employees leveled much of the blame against the show’s executive producers, but claimed Ellen herself had not been involved enough to see what was happening on her own show.
Months after the first claims surfaced, DeGeneres gave an interview, in which she said the attacks on her ‘did feel very misogynistic.’
‘It was devastating. I am a kind person. I am a person who likes to make people happy,’ she said, adding that she understood how people – even fans of hers – might come to believe that the allegations about her personal behavior were true.
‘It was too orchestrated. It was too coordinated. People get picked on but for four months straight?’ she said to Today host Savannah Guthrie.
BULLYING, RACISM AND A ‘TOXIC WORK ENVIRONMENT’: THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ELLEN
Ten former and one current member of Ellen’s staff alleged they were bullied, fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave, while one woman claimed to have walked off the job after facing comments about her race.
‘That ‘be kind’ bulls*** only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,’ one anonymous staff member said.
Staff said they were told not to talk to DeGeneres herself while she was on set, and that the day-to-day running of the show was left to producers.
The employees said they did not have first-hand experience of DeGeneres being unpleasant, but said she needs to take more responsibility for how her employees are treated.
However, allegations have mounted from other sources against the host herself – sparked by a Twitter thread from comedian Kevin T. Porter
Calling DeGeneres ‘notoriously one of the meanest people alive’, he asked people for ‘the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean’.
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw Porter give $600 to an LA foodbank, after promising to donate $2 for every legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff are required to chew gum before speaking to her because of her ‘sensitive nose’, and that she polices staff lunch orders and bans anyone from eating fish or meat.
Separately, security worker Tom Majercak – who was assigned to be Ellen’s bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars – said she was ‘sly’ and ‘demeaning’ to him.
‘Ellen is the one person that I’ve been assigned to – and I’ve been assigned to quite a few celebrities – that has never taken the time to say hi to me,’ he said.
‘She’s not the person she portrays to be that she’s playing off of society.’