‘Ellen’ Under Investigation Amid Claims of Toxic Work Environment
After several staffers came forward with stories about their experiences working on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, the daytime talk show is now the subject of an internal investigation.
Variety confirmed on Monday, July 27, that WarnerMedia would be conducting a review of the show amid multiple reports of problematic experiences on set. According to the publication, production executives sent a memo to their employees noting that a third party firm and WarnerMedia’s employee relations group would be interviewing current and former staffers as part of the investigation.
Earlier this month, 10 former Ellen employees claimed in a report published by BuzzFeed News that they faced racism, fear and intimidation behind the scenes of the long-running daytime series. One current staffer also spoke with the outlet.
“That ‘be kind’ bulls–t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one of the former employees told BuzzFeed News. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Another ex-staffer claimed that host Ellen DeGeneres should “be more involved” in what happens off-camera. For the most part, those who came forward agreed that the allegedly toxic environment was due to the executive producers and other senior staff members, not DeGeneres herself.
“I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,’ and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that,” the ex-staffer said.
Shortly after the allegations made headlines, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner addressed the claims in a joint statement to BuzzFeed News.
“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment,” they wrote. “We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us. For the record, the day-to-day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better and we will do better.”
Weeks later, a source told Us Weekly exclusively that former Ellen employees are happy to finally see their stories being told.
“They’ve been calling and texting each other about the story,” the source said. “They’re loving that the truth — which has been an open secret for years in the industry — is finally receiving more interest.”
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