Ellen DeGeneres said in a statement she wanted to continue educating, supporting, and educating young talent rather than judge them and potentially harm their feelings. Now, a young singer she took under her wing at the time claims that she experienced exactly the opposite with DeGeneres, calling her insanely manipulative.
Greyson Chance Says DeGeneres Abandoned Him
Greyson Chance appeared in a stunning interview with Rolling Stone on September 22, 2022, in which he said DeGeneres promised to provide the guardian and mentor he needed in the entertainment industry. But instead, he now feels that working with her was difficult.
Chance, a 12-year-old boy who was singing the Lady Gagas hit Paparazzi in a talent show, was filmed in early 2010 and sent to Los Angeles by the producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DeGeneres surprised him with $10,000 and a new piano, but behind the scenes she promised him even more.
DeGeneres established her own record label called eleveneleven with Interscope Geffen A&M Records, naming Chance as her first artist. He told Rolling Stone that she'll protect you. We'll do this together.
DeGeneres was incredibly supportive and engaged at first, according to him, while hiring well-known managers who had worked with Lady Gaga and Madonna. She also hired him a full-time booking agent, a publicist, and a brand agent, too. In October 2010, the tween released a mini EP of songs and went on the road, touring across the United States and Canada as well as in London and Paris.
DeGeneres was really invested but also became domineering and way too controlling, according to Chance.
Chance admitted to Rolling Stone that she has never met anyone more manipulative, self-centered, or so blatantly opportunistic.
DeGeneres frequently berated people, including his mother, according to Chance.
Chance gave examples of times when he thought DeGeneres was too controlling, such as when she saw a preview video of an upcoming network performance. She didnt like it, he said, so he and the team had to completely recreate it.
The whole situation changed if she had a comment of some sort, he said, adding that one text from her might alter his plans for a day or a month, depending on the demand. It was terrible, according to him.
DeGeneres' mom Lisa recalls times when she would go through his clothes and be a bit controlling about what the tween was wearing. One rule was that he could never wear leather due to DeGeneres' commitment to veganism at the time.
Chance would come in and examine a rack, yell at stylists, berate people in front of me and say, This is what you're wearing on the program, but she was just disrespecting people.
Chance received an advance copy of the Never Say Never documentary on Justin Bieber, who was a friend of the comedian, while attending a concert. DeGeneres wanted Chance to see it and model his career after Biebers, but the tween said he was too tired from touring to watch it right away.
I'll never forget this, Chance told Rolling Stone of the moment DeGeneres called his mother about the Justin Bieber video. I just remember hearing on the other side of the phone, just yelling (and) beratement: What type of mother are you? Do you realize that I went out of my way to get this for you, and he cant sit down to watch it?
Lisa has fond memories of that day. She told Rolling Stone, I dont remember what she said, but she was berating.
Chance claims that DeGeneres' On-Air Concern For Him Was False
Chances' music and concert attendance began to dwindle in 2012. In November, he released his second album on the eleveneleven record label, Truth Be Told, Part 1, but when it didnt take off, he said DeGeneres completely abandoned him.
Chance told Rolling Stone that he tried to reach DeGeneres, but she never called back. He eventually decided to quit the music industry for a while and concentrate on school.
DeGeneres was able to invite him via producers to join her show several times more often, implying that they still had a good connection on the air.
He said whenever I would answer the question, it was just a fake smile. She wouldnt even look at you, she said, How are you doing? How are you holding up? It was like, Here's what we'll be talking about. See you there.
Chance appeared on the show in 2019, which he described as a place of deep trauma for me, knowing it would be useful publicity for his first album in years, called Portraits. He laughed along with her happy remarks, but it felt unauthentic.
I can see so much fear when I look at the interviews and I look at my eyes, and I can just see so much PTSD because Im there holding on for dear life going, I need this television job, Chance said. I was 100 percent faking it, and (I felt like) she was 100 percent faking it with me.
DeGeneres resentfully shared how proud she was of him for revealing that he was gay two years before.
He said, "I hadn't spoken to her in years." Youre now revealing the world as if you weren't so tight. Were so good. And behind the scenes, you're a strange manipulator.
Chance, now 25, was profoundly hurt by the whole thing, enough to refuse to appear one last time during the final two weeks of her show in May 2022. His mom, however, said she has come to realize that DeGeneres is in charge of everything.
Ellen is a businesswoman. If something does not go where she wants it to, she will put an end to it, according to Rolling Stone. Its not warm and fuzzy. I do not believe she encouraged people to be a part of her life or take someone under her wing as she did if she wanted to see something happen. If it wasnt moving fast enough for her, then she shut us out.
Emily Luther, who DeGeneres also signed to her record label, was interviewed by Rolling Stone alongside Luthers friend and now-music sensation Charlie Puth. Luther said she felt depressed about her and her family as a result of her association with DeGeneres.
Luther emphasized of DeGeneres that she is a person who wants to be the authority figure.
Puth, who left the DeGeneres record label within a year of signing with her, did not appear on the Rolling Stone story, but he appeared on one of her final shows, during which she took credit for discovering him.
I say it all the time, I discovered you, she told him on the program. I take credit for your entire career.
Puth said unenthusiastically, looking at the audience. Handclap for her. She did it.
DeGeneres' show ended in May 2022, two years after BuzzFeed exposed allegations of harassment and misconduct on her set, and her ratings fell. She has not publicly responded to the Chances allegations.