According to reports from The Hollywood Reporter, the studio that produces “The Ellen Degeneres Show”, Warner Bros, issued a statement on behalf of WB and DeGeneres, confirming that it has launched an internal investigation into the workplace. Throughout the investigation, the studio will be interviewing current and former Ellen employees about their experiences, which comes after BuzzFeed News’ recent report about the show’s toxic work culture.
“Though not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management,” the statement read. “We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them. Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion. We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show.”
As the investigation continues, the long-running daytime talk show is expected to go through a number of staffing changes. Reports go on to say that Ed Glavin, one of the program’s three executive producers, is likely to exit the show immediately. Actor, Brad Garrett chimed in as well, taking to Twitter to say that he personally knew staff that were “treated terribly by her” and that it was “common knowledge.”
Ellen also apologized, personally, in a letter to her staff–though she didn’t really acknowledge any of the allegations made about her, specifically. While keeping it vague, she seemed to focus on taking accountability for the actions of the staff under her to their subordinates, not her own mistreatment of staff, which has been a hot topic in the industry for years.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” DeGeneres wrote.
“I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros., we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues,” she continued. “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.”
Some of the allegations in Buzzfeed’s report included jokes about mistaking two Black female employees with the same hairstyle for one another, along with one of the main writers telling a Black employee, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here.”
Some more shocking details have been revealed too. According to Variety, dozens of former employees from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” have spoken out about several incidents involving alleged sexual misconduct and harassment from top executives on the show. The ex-staffers spoke anonymously about the show’s producer Kevin Leman, behaving inappropriately at a company party in 2013 and in May of 2017. The former employees revealed that Leman would make “sexually explicit comments in the office regularly.” Damn Ellen, we hope these allegations aren’t true!