Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Workplace Allegations And Changes Planned In Staff Letter
Aug 01, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres, 62, is apologizing to her staff in the wake of allegations that her talk show fosters a toxic environment. The host sent an email to staffers at The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday.
62-year-old talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is apologizing to her staff in the wake of the allegations to their mistreatment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The saga began after a tweet by comedian Kevin Porter asking netizens to respond "with the most insane stories you’ve heard about Ellen being mean," went viral with many opening up with their own stories about DeGeneres and her show.
Variety reported that DeGeneres has sent an email to staffers to the show on Thursday. In the letter, DeGeneres states she is "disappointed" by BuzzFeed reports in which current and former staff members alleged they faced intimidation and racism.
DeGeneres wrote in part:
"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. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show,"
DeGeneres also added that an internal investigation has been launched by the show's distributor, Warner Bros. Television, which is owned by CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia.Brooks Kraft/Getty Images
"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 continued. CNN has confirmed the contents of the memo with a current employee.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said:
"Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres take the recent allegations around the show's workplace culture very seriously. We hoped to determine the validity and extent of publicly reported allegations and to understand the full breadth of the show's day-to-day culture.
As a result, WarnerMedia interviewed dozens of current and former employees about the environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. It was important to both Warner Bros. and Ellen that as many people as possible attached to the program could be heard.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world. And 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. 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.”
One employee had come forward to point out the hypocrisy in Ellen's on-screen persona and that behind-the-scenes, saying:
"They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra."
What exactly will happen next in these proceedings is still unclear, but nonetheless the production executives have committed to interviewing both current and former employees with the help of a third-party firm in order to investigate the claims of employees being "fired after taking medical leave," and fed-up with racist comments.Brooks Kraft/Getty Images
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