Greyson Chance says Ellen DeGeneres 'abandoned' him: 'I've never met someone more manipulative'

Greyson Chance is done giving Ellen DeGeneres a second chance.
In 2010, when the singer-songwriter was in sixth grade, he became an overnight sensation after a video of his performance of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" in middle school went viral on YouTube. The clip caught the attention of DeGeneres, who invited him to appear on her daytime talk show, introduced him to industry executives, and signed him to her record label, all in the same year.
But in an interview with Rolling Stone published Thursday, Chance, 25, said the superstar's glitz and glamor quickly faded as DeGeneres took charge of his career. "My whole week, my whole month, my whole year could change [with] a text message from her," he told the outlet. "That was awful."
Greyson Chance and Ellen DeGeneres
Sarah Morris/WireImage; Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Greyson Chance and Ellen DeGeneres
After joining DeGeneres' label, Chance said she became "domineering and way too controlling" and made decisions for him, down to his stage outfits. "She walked in and looked at a boner, yelled at stylists, berated people in front of me and said, 'This is what you wear on the show,'" he said. "She just demeaned people."
A DeGeneres rep declined to comment to EW on Chance's comments. A representative from Chance had no further comment.
Chance also claimed to Rolling Stone that DeGeneres "completely abandoned him" and stopped his calls after his first EP was bombed in 2012. That year he was dropped by his label and team. While he was independently releasing his own music and making multiple appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show through 2019, Chance said his interactions with the titular host became a lot less friendly.
Reflecting on his final appearance on the show, Chance described the studio as a "site of active trauma" and slammed DeGeneres for speaking out about his sexuality during her interview. (Chance came out as gay in 2017.)
"[When I came out,] I hadn't spoken to her in years ... This is so messed up that now you're showing the world like we're so close. We're that good," Chance said. "And behind the scenes, you're this insanely manipulative person."
Chance's description of DeGeneres stands in sharp contrast to her once-squeaky-clean public image and her motto, "Be kind," though the singer isn't the first person to criticize her behind-the-scenes behavior. In the summer of 2020, former and current Ellen employees called out the show for promoting a "toxic work environment" filled with racism, intimidation and fear. An internal investigation ensued, three executives left the show, and DeGeneres issued multiple apologies to her staff. In May 2021, DeGeneres announced that her show would end after season 19. The last episode was last May.
In his interview with Rolling Stone, Chance said that the Ellen producers asked him to return one last time during the final season, but he declined. "How on earth am I supposed to sit down and say I'm so grateful and let her take this moment?" he said.
Chance added, "I couldn't do that. So I turned down an appearance on national television on the eve of an album release, which is probably not wise, but I had to do it for my integrity."
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'Paparazzi' Singer Greyson Chance Returns to Music: 'It's a New Me'
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Greyson Chance
American singer, songwriter and musician

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