Comedian-host Ellen DeGeneres has addressed the alleged workplace misconduct on her popular chat show, and insisted that steps will be taken to correct the issues.
In a letter to her crew, DeGeneres addresses the alleged workplace misconduct, which came to light through a report that highlighted toxic work culture driven by racism, bullying and intimidation.
She has also taken responsibility, as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” bears her name.
“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. 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,” she added.
Earlier this month, a report in BuzzFeed alleged racism and intimidation on the show. The piece was based on anonymous testimonials by one current and 10 former employees, who claimed to have faced racism, bullying and intimidation.
It also mentioned jokes about mistaking two Black female employees with the same hairstyle, as well as criticism of statements allegedly made to another staffer by executive producer Ed Glavin. Glavin and fellow executive producers Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly released a statement following the report, taking the day to day responsibility of the show.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has now become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia.
In her letter, DeGeneres continued: “I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or worse disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.
“It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so. I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then,” she added.
While neither DeGeneres nor Warner Brothers will comment on the fate of specific employees, two sources mentioned that executive producer Ed Glavin is among those who will be let go.
“Once he’s out, it will be like a new day,” said a source close to the show.
On the team change, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said: “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. 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.”