Former ‘Ellen Show’ DJ speaks out about toxicity on set

The British-born disc jockey, DJ Tony Okunbgowa, says that he supports those who have come forth with their formal complaints

Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres listens to President Barack Obama before being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

DJ Tony Okunbgowa, a former Ellen DeGeneres Show employee for almost a decade, reveals on Instagram he too felt the show’s ‘toxic’ environment.

While grateful for the opportunity, the British-born disc jockey says that he supports those who have come forth with their formal complaints.

READ MORE: Ellen DeGeneres responds to allegations of toxic work environment

“I hope you are all keeping safe out there during these trying times. 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 to start his Instagram post. 

“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,” he continued.

Ellen show viewers commented under his social media post.

“You were one of my favorite parts of the show, and it was sad when you left. So sad that the rumors appear to be true,” wrote @lj_daf.

One viewer cited, they are “not surprised” by Okungbowa’s confession of experiencing a toxic environment while working on the show.

“…some of her skits and the way she treated you on air was demoralizing,” commented @_thelmt.

DJ Tony Okunbgowa theGrio.com
DJ Tony Okunbgowa (Instagram)

Throughout her show’s history, Ellen has always played up the dynamic she shares with her DJs as authentically congenial relationships.

Okunbgowa spun records for the show, serving as her Ellen DeGeneres’ on-screen partner from 2003-2006 and from 2007 -2013. 

READ MORE: Kevin Hart defends Ellen DeGeneres against workplace accusations

Following DJ Tony Okungbowa’s tenure on the show, he was replaced by DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who happens to be also be Black.

DJ tWitch, who started with The Ellen DeGeneres show in 2014, hasn’t commented on the “toxic” allegations, but he and his wife, spoke with Entertainment Tonight, last month to discuss raising their biracial kids in an America where “racism is real.”

“One of the most important things that can be done is after the trend of this is over is that we are still active, and educating ourselves. Not only educating ourselves but taking action,” he told Entertainment Tonight.

“…not being afraid to call out friends where you see it. So then we are actively dismantling the well-oiled machine that racism actually is,” tWitch continued.

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