Ellen DeGeneres is speaking out after news broke of an investigation into workplace intimidation and a toxic environment on the set of her long-running daytime talk show.
DeGeneres wrote a letter to her crew, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, where she addresses the allegations made by anonymous former employees, which include claims of racism and unjust terminations. The claims triggered an in-house investigation by Telepictures parent WarnerMedia, which is nearing its completion.
In her note, the 62-year-old took responsibility for the misconduct and assured employees that steps were being put in place to “correct the issues” going forward.
“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,” she explained. “That will now change, and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
Sources revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that one change to come to the show will be the firing of producer Ed Glavin, who is at the center of some of the nastiest claims.
“Once he’s out, it will be like a new day,” one of the sources claimed, who also said that DeGeneres was largely kept in the dark about Glavin’s persistent mistreatment of the staff. Others are expected to be fired as well.
She went on to say, “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.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is currently in its 17th season and was renewed for three more years in 2019, taking the beloved show through 2022, despite DeGeneres revealing in an interview with The New York Times that she’d contemplated ending the show.
A source close to the comedian has said that she’s been “crushed” by the controversy surrounding her show lately, which did not begin with the claims of mistreatment on the set. Back in April, it was also suggested that she was not paying her crew during lockdown, a claim that she has refuted.
A Warner Bros. spokesperson issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter regarding the matter.
“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.”
DeGeneres ended her letter by saying, “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.”