TV Show Hosts Who Treat Their Staff Like Garbage

Behind every television show is a team of producers, camera operators, directors and more who help the show find success, yet it's those who are the face of the show who get the most recognition. Television hosts might put a lot of work into the direction and themes of their shows, but they sometimes forget to appreciate the people behind the scenes, for whom without the show wouldn't even exist. Understandably fame can get to one's head, but these horrific stories prove that some television hosts just go too far.

Dr. Phil imprisoned his staff

Dr. Phil has been called a fraud and a tyrant, and it looks like the rumors might just be true. His talk show basically consists of him interviewing the mentally ill and proving in front of an audience that the things they believe aren't actually true. Recently he had a young girl on the show with her family who believed she was pregnant with baby Jesus and that rapper Eminem was her biological father. His staff has gone on record to say that he not only terrorizes them but the guests as well. A source told Perez Hilton, "You can feel the fear on the set. There seems to be a reason he hires a nearly all female staff...he seeks out the vulnerable type of person that's reliant on their paycheck from him so they don't fight back."

Perhaps he misread former segment director Leah Rothman as she recently filed a lawsuit against Dr. Phil and CBS claiming false imprisonment, whistleblower retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress. According to The Daily Beast, Rothman was called into work on her day off and escorted into a small room with 300 other employees and a security crew. They were all then locked inside while they listened to Dr. Phil go on a tirade, threatening and scaring the crew into giving up the rat who allegedly leaked information about an exclusive interview with Bobbi Kristina Brown's boyfriend, Nick Gordon. Even though Rothman reported her fears of instability to human resources, she was ignored and the situation was never addressed, forcing her to seek legal action instead. This was not the first lawsuit Dr. Phil was confronted with and surely won't be the last.

Burgers instead of bonuses from Tyra Banks

We've all heard Tyra Banks can be a bit of a diva, and anyone who's seen America's Next Top Model knows she doesn't necessarily hide it, but it seems the talk show host is much worse when the cameras aren't rolling. After The Tyra Banks Show wrapped up for good, past crew members on the show started speaking out against the model, saying it was more than just difficult to work for her. A source revealed to New York Daily Mail, "There had been a high turnover of employees for years ... She and the higher-ups on the production staff could be extremely brutal. She really is a diva." It seems that Banks insisted everything be done her way, regardless of how it affected her employees.

Reports had surfaced while The Tyra Banks Show was still airing that Banks held a holiday party for her employees at a dive bar in New York City, and neglected to supply her staff with any food. Since they were all drinking on empty stomachs, crew members were getting incredibly wasted. It got so bad fights broke out, people were getting sick on the dance floor, and one woman was even sent to the hospital. A source revealed Banks showed up to the party late, and used a poor choice of words when revealing her surprise for the crew. The source was quoted saying, "She told staffers, who relocated from LA to New York for her, 'I want to thank you guys for working so hard. I have a special guest, here's Santa!'" The source then explained the staff excitedly rushed over to a man dressed as Santa expecting to receive a holiday bonus. However, they were instead gifted with burgers from McDonald's. At least someone was thoughtful enough to inform the diva she'd dropped the ball on forgetting to mention to her crew there would be no food at this party of theirs. However, it seems the sting of not getting a bonus only encouraged them to drink harder, likely causing even more drunken shenanigans.

Chelsea Handler kept employees in the dark

Best known for her late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler can now be found all over Netflix. But she didn't exactly inform her co-stars she'd be leaving the show behind, and Heather McDonald is no longer keeping quiet about who the host truly is. You might recognize McDonald, as she was a recurring comedian on the show and former friend of Handler's. During an appearance on the podcast Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss (via New York Daily News), McDonald spoke about her time on the show stating, "I lived in fear, 100 percent lived in fear. I enjoyed my time there, I was happy, but something could happen and my heart would be beating and I'd be like 'is this it?'" It seems Handler blindsided her and the rest of the crew by not telling them the show was ending and she was heading over to Netflix. McDonald also stated she doesn't agree with how Handler treats people and the relationships in her life saying, "She makes you feel so special until you're not."

McDonald isn't the only one Handler has seemingly "dumped" over the years. Lisa Sundstedt, a former writer for Chelsea Lately backed up McDonald's statements in an exclusive interview with Radar Online. Sundstedt called Handler her best friend when she first started working for the show, claiming they would hang out all the time. When Sundstedt was offered a better opportunity, she left the show but didn't realize she'd be leaving behind her friendship as well. She explains, "I left the show to go do another job and she got very busy and she got famous. Prior to me leaving she wasn't famous yet. Her show was just a little show that people weren't watching yet and then the show blew up and she just didn't respond to any of my emails anymore." Sounds like Ms. Handler can only be friends with those who are on her payroll.

Simon Cowell wants his close up

Simon Cowell is best known for throwing insults at contestants on shows like American Idol and X Factor, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise the talent judge isn't so nice to the show's staff and crew members, either. Most recently, Cowell had a minor meltdown during a live taping of X Factor after a cameraman failed to give him his close up. Whether or not this is a requirement is unknown, but Cowell surely didn't let this poor cameraman get away with his error. Rather than provide the singer on stage with his feedback, Cowell instead snapped at the crew member saying, "Why aren't I in the close-ups by the way? I should be on that screen!" In this statement he was referring to one of the two large screens, one that showed the performer's face and another that showed the judge's face who was speaking so the audience could clearly see what was going on. Talk about a diva moment!

Staff can't be taller than Wendy Williams

The Wendy Williams Show, starring Wendy Williams herself, is a live talk show known for the host's sparkling personality as she speaks to experts about hot and trending topics. Her show is also known for having a number of strange rules behind the scenes, as reported by New York Daily News. For example, no one in her staff can be taller than her. They can be prettier, but they certainly can not come close to Williams' six foot stature. This rule also pertains to guests on the show. An insider from the show explained, "One woman who was on once was never invited back, because the woman was actually taller than Wendy .... Wendy needs to be the tallest lady on set at all times."

The insider also revealed Williams prefers to have men on her show over women, and the crew is nearly entirely made up of men as the host can get "weird" around other ladies. It's not clear exactly what is meant by that, but one's imagination can certainly fill in the blanks. Williams also seems to have a bit of a jealousy streak — the moment she finds out an expert has done an appearance elsewhere, these guests are never invited back. One of these experts spoke to New York Daily News about her experience with Williams saying, "I had been a regular guest on Wendy for over a year, but when I started doing other shows they stopped inviting me back. It is not like Wendy pays me or has some sort of exclusive contract with me. And she isn't GMA or Today. Now she is left with all the not-tall experts that the big shows don't want." Yikes!

Donald Trump brushed off producers

Before Donald Trump was elected president, he was the host of The Apprentice, a show most iconic for the phrase "You're fired!". While Trump certainly didn't hold back when voicing his opinions about contestants, his personality was, at the time, considered to be just another part of the show. However, after the show wrapped up, many prior contestants and staff members have come forward to reveal what kind of person Trump was behind the scenes and he has since been accused of being a dictator, egotistic, and sexist.

One of the biggest problems staff members had while working for him was his cold demeanor and dismissal of anyone he felt was beneath him. A writer for Deadline interviewed several producers who had worked on the show, and one spoke about a time when they and another producer saw the billionaire on set, made eye contact with him, and both put their hands out to shake the man's hand only to be brushed off. "We had started to put out our hands to say hello to him and he just looked through us and kept walking. We both felt it was kind of funny. This had been a hard shoot, and it was an opportunity for him to say, 'Hello and thanks for the work,' but he literally looked right through us. I've worked on many, many shows, and you are all members of the team, cast and crew. But not Trump."

Other staff members recall how Trump had forced many of the lower level employees to come to work during Hurricane Sandy, a thought that is inconceivable to anyone who resided in New York at the time. Film crews and the actual contestants on the show weren't required to work, leaving many of the staff members who were forced to show up with little or no work to do. The Daily Mail spoke to several employees who were put to work just hours after the storm had hit, and one spoke candidly saying, "The whole city was shut down. It was really irresponsible and selfish... Like, no one was under the illusion that we were making fine art here, that it had to be pushed that hard. It was crazy. Business in the city had basically shut down."

Paula Deen's racism wasn't a one time thing

Many were shocked when Paula Deen was accused of using the N-word among staff members on set of her cooking show, Paula's Home Cooking, but it soon became public the TV host had a long history with racism. After being canned from the network, reports of lawsuits began to pop up, and it seems she left a long trail of unhappy employees behind her on her climb toward fame. Aside from playing host on TV, Deen also owned a restaurant in Savannah and the reports coming from some of her staff members are beyond shocking.

Former general manager of the restaurant filed an official lawsuit in 2012 with claims that African American employees were only allowed to use the back entrance to the restaurant, and were required to use the bathroom in the back as well, separate from white employees and customers. Additionally, African American employees weren't allowed to go to the front of the restaurant for any reason, and were paid less than white employees. Since Deen has admitted to using the racial slur, many of her employees have since found the courage to come forward with their own experiences with the host, and they are all far from pleasant.

Christina Aguilera's high demands drive production crew crazy

Not everyone was thrilled when Christina Aguilera returned as a judge on The Voice after taking maternity leave for two seasons. Singers Shakira and Gwen Stefani filled in during the pop star's absence, but Aguilera's diva demands ensured they'd be long gone by the time of her return. A source revealed to Radar Online after Aguilera's return that, "Everyone really misses Shakira and Gwen. NBC was actually hoping to keep one of the girls so that they would have two female and two male judges, but Christina said absolutely not, and that she would be the only female judge or she would not do it at all." Apparently, Aguilera felt she brought in the show's ratings, and according to the same source, she was known to call it her show.

It seems Ms. Aguilera started acting this way from the start of her return, reportedly showing up late and refusing to follow direction during the shoot of the shows TV spot promo. A source told Radar Online that "She showed up late and acted like she owned the shoot. The entire thing had to be about her or else she would have flipped out." While she was on the show, the crew gave into her every need, as it's easier to let her have things go her way than to fight with her. You would think that with her singing career having become practically irrelevant these days, she would have bent over backwards to keep her spot on the show — but apparently not, since her chair has been filled by someone else this year.

Gordon Ramsey scuffled with a contestant

Host of the cooking competition television show Hell's Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay isn't just known for his skills in the kitchen. His show provides contestants with a harsh reality, making him known more for his cruelty and short temperament — both which have gotten the TV host into some legal troubles in the past. Just two weeks after Ramsay began filming the US version of his show, the host got into a physical altercation with one of the contestants. According to The Scottsman, a contestant on the show seemed to have pushed Ramsay's buttons during filming, causing the famous cook to push the contestant to the ground. The contestant was taken to the hospital for a sprained ankle, but the scuffle resulted in him having to give up his spot on the show.

The show's team at Fox worked hard to avoid a lawsuit, but Ramsay hardly seemed apologetic saying, "The people at Fox are frightened there is going to be a massive lawsuit. The guy wound me up and I got angry. He hurt his ankle when he fell. It wasn't intentional. I'm Gordon Ramsay, for goodness sake: people know I'm volatile. But I didn't mean to hurt the guy."

Off the set of his show, Ramsay has been accused of treating his restaurant staff at The Fat Cow in LA poorly as well, something that led to a class action lawsuit in 2013. The Daily Mail reported the details of the lawsuit which claim Ramsay required employees to work through breaks without being compensated, failed to pay employees minimum wage or overtime, and even failed to give his employees documentation showing their hours worked and wages earned. Ramsay's restaurant was at the center of another lawsuit that same year after he failed to pay a contractor entirety for work they'd done and for kitchen equipment they'd provided. In total, it was reported the famous chef owed $45,350. Not exactly chump change.

Abby Lee Miller intentionally makes dancers cry

Dance Moms has led to the success of several dancers, giving some of these kids opportunities that they could never have even dreamt of before starring in the Lifetime show. It might sound like a dream come true, but these kids are practically tortured by the owner and instructor at the dance school, Abby Lee Miller. Miller most recently made headlines in the news after she was charged with fraud (and will be sentenced in 2017), but before that, her harsh teaching styles and feuds with several of the moms on the show had the media buzzing. It seems one dance mom has had enough of the abuse however, and has filed a lawsuit against Miller and the producers of the show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kelly Hyland is suing them for breach of contract, the intentional deliverance of emotional distress toward her and her two daughters, and unpaid wages. Hyland is the mother of show regulars Brooke and Paige, and knew Miller as a child.

Hyland went public saying, "The children on the show were being subjected to abusive and unlawful working conditions," claiming they were in violation of Pennsylvania's child labor laws. The lawsuit went on to describe Miller's behavior during filming saying, "Miller screams at the girls in front of the other dancers, moms and production crew, causing them to cry, and then Miller derides them for being emotionally weak when they do. Miller even tossed a chair during a confrontation with Paige." The show has since gotten new producers, who shockingly don't get along with the studio owner. In an exclusive interview with TMZ, Miller admitted to intentionally causing her students to cry on film. She also accused the new producers of not watching any of the earlier seasons of the show, saying they know nothing about the show and nothing about dance. Miller claims the producers are unnecessary, as she has been pushing the buttons of these dance moms for over thirty years, and proudly announces she can make any of the kids cry in thirty seconds or less. Not exactly the kind of person you want around your children, but she does seem to produce successful dancers.