Australian broadcaster Tracy Grimshaw has reflected on some of her most memorable interviews throughout her sprawling career – and her world exclusive with Ellen DeGeneres has made the list.
The 62-year-old outgoing A Current Affair host, who stepped down from the Nine show after 17 years at the helm, interviewed the US talk show star on her Warner Bros set in California in 2013.
It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime location to conduct an interview, but Grimshaw said she believed the decision to host the chat in Ellen’s environment was a “controlling tactic”.
“I had to interview her on her set, in front of her live audience … and I’m an outsider and a nobody, walking on to that set,” Grimshaw told 9Now.
“And it was designed to make me feel small and it was designed to put me in my place.”
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She added: “I think that was a controlling tactic … Certainly she’s a control freak.
“Ellen doesn’t like giving interviews, she doesn’t give a lot.”
While Grimshaw said DeGeneres was pleasant during the interview, she conceded her recent ‘toxic workplace’ scandal would be hard for her to bounce back from.
“History won’t be as kind to Ellen,” Grimshaw said.
DeGeneres, 64, said goodbye to her talk show in May after almost two decades on-air.
She sensationally pulled the plug on the program back in mid-2021 more than 12 months after her reputation soured almost overnight due to toxic workplace allegations.
Her iconic “be kind” slogan was first called into question when a March 2020 tweet by writer and comedian Kevin T. Porter claimed she was “notoriously one of the meanest people alive”.
It went viral, with more than 1000 replies from people detailing their horrendous experiences with the US comedian.
The aftermath was even more brutal, with countless staff also coming forward on the record with their own stories of bullying. Most notably, a July 2020 story in Buzzfeed quoted 10 former and one at-the-time current employees speaking out against Ellen’s program.
They unanimously described a “toxic work environment” with a culture of “racism, fear and intimidation”.
A Warner Bros internal investigation following months of negative press led to the firings of top producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
Addressing the toxic workplace claims on-air in September 2020, DeGeneres admitted she was a “work in progress” but pleaded to viewers that she was still “the person you see on TV”.
Story Credit: news.com.au