YouTuber Trisha Paytas claims she was told not to touch Ellen DeGeneres or look her in the eye while appearing on her show.
DeGeneres called rumours that she dislikes eye contact “crazy” and “not true” in August last year when The Ellen DeGeneres Show was hit with multiple scandals.
She did, however, apologise for the “toxic work environment” exposed by a series of BuzzFeed articles and confirmed that three top producers would be leaving the show after a subsequent internal investigation.
But Paytas believes she saw a different side of DeGeneres. Discussing her appearance on the show in 2010 on her podcast ‘Frenemies’, she reportedly said:
“When all that stuff started coming out, I was like, that makes sense because she was so awful. Literally, would not talk to you. They tell you ‘don’t look in her eyes, don’t touch her’.”
Paytas was not a celebrity guest on the show, but rather showed off her speed-reading during an audience talent segment.
While being introduced, Paytas reached out to touch DeGeneres on the back before stopping herself and saying “I shouldn’t touch you”.
Paytas’s intention in appearing on the show, she said, was to be discovered and become famous. That didn’t happen, but she has since made a career as a controversial YouTuber, reality star, actress, singer and podcast host.
Paytas isn’t the only one who has accused DeGeneres of having a “no eye contact” rule.
Neil Breen, a former producer of Australia’s Today show claimed it was among DeGeneres’s “bizarre” demands when she appeared on his show in 2013.
DeGeneres has been contacted for comment.