Ryan Phillippe Appeared To Throw Major Shade At Ellen DeGeneres After Months Of "Toxic Workplace" Reports

    "Remember to be kind...wait."

    Ryan Phillippe appears to have shaded Ellen DeGeneres after a series of recent BuzzFeed News reports alleged a "toxic workplace environment" at The Ellen Show.

    The actor was out for a run in LA when he came across a billboard advertising the show. He posed for a selfie in front of the advert and shared it with the caption: "Remember to be kind..." in reference to Ellen's famous catchphrase, before adding: "Wait."

    Ryan hasn't appeared on The Ellen Show since 2011. However, his ex wife, Reese Witherspoon, is one of Ellen's close friends and sat down for an interview with her in March.

    The Ellen Show

    It's unclear what exactly prompted Ryan's post, but it follows months of allegations of workplace toxicity and misconduct made by dozens of former and current employees of The Ellen Show which resulted in an internal investigation.

    The Ellen Show

    After the initial reports, Ellen released a memo to the staff on her show revealing that she was "disappointed" to hear of the claims and adding that she was "committed" to eradicating any toxicity.

    "Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show," she wrote. "As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."

    Weeks later, further reporting revealed that dozens of employees had accused executive producers on the show of sexual harassment and misconduct. These producers were later fired from the show, but vehemently the accusations.

    The Ellen Show

    Ellen herself was never the subject of any of the allegations, but she did take responsibility for "what happens at [her] show" in a public apology during the season 18 premiere in September — the first time she'd addressed fans directly since the initial claims in July.

    Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    “As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” she said.

    The Ellen Show

    “I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected," she went on. "I know that I'm in a position of privilege and power and I realised that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there, my name is there, my name is on underwear."

    Ellen went on to directly reference the "be kind" catchphrase used in Ryan's post, revealing she'd started using it when a teenager named Tyler Clementi killed himself after being bullied over his sexuality in 2010, but that "being known as the 'be kind lady'" had become difficult for her to handle.

    The Ellen Show

    “I thought the world needed more kindness and it was a reminder that we all needed that, and I think we need it more than ever right now," she said. "Being known as the ‘be kind’ lady is a tricky position to be in."

    The Ellen Show

    "So let me give you some advice out there if anybody's thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the ‘be kind’ lady," she went on. "Don't do it. The truth is I am that person that you see on TV."

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    Multiple former and current employees later told BuzzFeed News that the apology had missed the mark, describing it as "disingenuous and tone-deaf".

    BuzzFeed News has contacted representatives for Ryan Phillippe for comment.

    Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

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