- (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
The Oprah Network has canceled "The Rosie Show" and staffers are speaking out about their experiences working on the show and their boss, Rosie O'Donnell.
The final episode of O'Donnell's show will air on March 30, but staffers are making sure their side of the story is known. One anonymous source told the Daily Beast that conditions were bad enough they called it a "hell-hole." O'Donnell's domineering perfectionism led to rows with members of her staff as well as OWN producers.
"O'Donnell uncontrollably yelled at a publicist backstage because she didn't like the parameters agreed upon for an interview," the source revealed. Conflicts arose between O'Donnell and Oprah's director Joe Terry; she reportedly humiliated him in front of an audience for using the wrong camera angle. O'Donnell then fired Winfrey's stage manager for not paying her enough attention and not doing his job.
Bandleader Katreese Barnes, who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and has won two Emmys, told the Daily Beast about a dispute that arose when he wasn't able to play a specific tune O'Donnell requested. "I'm not upset that I don't know 'Into the Woods' by heart. A little heads-up would have been nice," he stated.
For her part, O'Donnell has not responded to any of the claims. "I loved working with Oprah in the amazing city of Chicago," she told reporters. "I was welcomed with open arms and will never forget the kindness of all I encountered. It was a great year for me - I wish the show was able to attract more viewers-but it did not," she added.
O'Donnell broke the news of the show's cancellation via Twitter; she did not tell anyone on the staff about the news. "That's show biz - and I am happy to have had the chance and now to be back home in NY" she tweeted on Friday.
"I thank Rosie from the bottom of my heart for joining me on this journey," Oprah Winfrey has said in a statement. "She has been an incredible partner, working to deliver the best possible show every single day. I'm grateful to Rose and the dedicated 'Rose Show' team for giving it their all."