Ellen DeGeneres' Former DJ Reveals The Truth About The Show

Things aren't looking good for daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. The Emmy Award-winning comedian has faced significant backlash after numerous guests of her show and employees have come forward with personal stories of negative encounters with DeGeneres. Even her former bodyguard shared that DeGeneres isn't what she seems, which is disappointing to fans since she's built her brand on a platform of kindness.

The crew who work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show first spoke up about unfair treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic in April 2020. A few months later in July 2020, Buzzfeed News interviewed DeGeneres' current and former employees, who shed light on what several deemed a "toxic work environment." In fact, former staff members told the outlet that they faced "racism, fear and intimidation." In response to the allegations, WarnerMedia is conducting a workplace investigation, according to Variety.

Despite DeGeneres' attempt at damage control through an apology — in addition to positive testimonials from her famous friends — information continues to come to light, confirming the "toxicity" of the day time talk show. Case in point? In August 2020, the former DJ for the show, DJ Tony, opened up about his time on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Needless to say, it wasn't a glowing review. Keep reading to hear what he had to say.

Tony Okungbowa felt the 'toxicity of the environment'

Ellen DeGeneres' former DJ, Tony Okungbowa (a.k.a DJ Tony), who worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for years, came forward on Instagram in August 2020 to detail his personal experience. "I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there."

He continued: "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."

The comments were full of praise and gratitude for Okungbowa's honesty. One person wrote: "Thank you for speaking up!" While another commented: "You are such a shining soul and I applaud your honesty and strength." Despite shedding some light on his time on the show, Okungbowa did not make it clear whether the "toxicity" stemmed from producers or DeGeneres herself. 

While the talk show host is definitely dealing with some negative press at the moment, per Page Six, several celebrities have come forward in defense of DeGeneres, including Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, and of course, DeGeneres' wife, Portia De Rossi.

Has Tony Okungbowa's replacement, Stephen "tWitch" Boss, spoken out?

Longtime viewers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will know that following Tony Okungbowa's exit, Stephen "tWitch" Boss stepped up to act as the host's DJ. When it comes to his relationship with DeGeneres, she once admitted: "Twitch, you want to know my favorite thing that we've added? It's you." While she's obviously fond of him, is the feeling mutual?

Boss certainly had positive things to say about DeGeneres when he told Medium in 2017: "[H]ere's the truth: she's Ellen DeGeneres and she could have any mindset she wanted to. She could be like, 'Nope, I don't agree with that, this is what I'm going to say about it, and I can be mean about it.' But she is like, 'Nope, with the platform I have, kindness is definitely going to be the best answer.'"

That being said, in light of the 2020 backlash, as of this writing, the DJ "has yet to speak out on his boss," per Vulture. And he's not alone. The same can be said for friends and "frequent guests" like Justin Timberlake, Pink, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Sofia Vergara, and Oprah, just to name a few.

Granted, DeGeneres is still Boss' boss, so maybe he doesn't feel comfortable talking publicly about his experiences when it could mean he ends up being fired — that is, if he has something less-than-flattering to say. However, even if he does leave the show, Okungbowa is proof that your career can continue after Ellen.

Tony Okungbowa has moved on to other TV gigs

Tony Okungbowa has done a lot more than just appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the fact that he's established himself as an actor may be why he feels comfortable enough to talk about the problematic issues that he allegedly witnessed.

Okungbowa has appeared in smaller roles on shows like The X-Files, NYPD Blue, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS: Los Angeles, Ballers, and Ray Donovan. He even snagged a voice credit as a ranger on The Wild Thornberrys in 2002. Additionallyif you're a fan of soap operas, then you surely saw him pop up on The Bold and the Beautiful for a single episode in 2001 before returning for five additional episodes in 2010.

As of this writing, Okungbowa is appearing as Kofo on CBS' Bob Hearts Abishola. He's also working on the television show Consequences as Shabazz. While it seems obvious that he won't be returning to work with DeGeneres any time soon, at least he has new gigs to keep him busy.