Tony Okungbowa, who used to work as the resident DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, recounted his own experience with the “toxicity” on set following his former colleagues’ lead.
Okungbowa, who famously went by DJ Tony on the show, wrote in an Instagram post posted Tuesday (Aug. 4) about how he worked as on-air talent from 2003-2006 and again from 2007-2013.
“I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there,” he wrote alongside a photo of him DJing during an episode. “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.”
A July 16-dated BuzzFeed report featuring interviews with one current and 10 former Ellen employees debunked the “be kind” mantra behind the NBC daytime talk show, dethroning TV’s so-called “queen of nice” with accounts of experiencing “racism, fear, and intimidation.”
She came forward weeks later with a letter addressing her show’s controversy and changes coming forward, writing, “We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow.”
Katy Perry and Scooter Braun, whose high-profile clients such as Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato have been guests on the show, are just two of the stars who defended DeGeneres amid the toxic workplace allegations.
Read Okungbowa’s whole social media statement below.