Tue. Aug 4th, 2020

Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Workplace Allegations and Changes Forthcoming in Staff Letter

With embattled TV titan Ellen DeGeneres under fire for workplace abuse allegations, Ellen speaks out to her staffers.

In a letter to her crew DeGeneres addresses the alleged workplace misconduct, which was detailed in a Buzzfeed story published earlier this month. The widely circulated piece includes a host of former employees’ anonymous accusations of racism, intimidation, unjust termination and an overall toxic work culture, perpetuated by the show’s top producers. The report prompted an in-house investigation by Telepictures parent WarnerMedia, which is said to now be largely complete.

In her note, DeGeneres takes responsibility, insofar as the show bears her name, and insists that steps will be taken 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 writes. “That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

While neither she nor Warner Brothers will comment on the fate of specific employees, two sources tell THR that executive producer Ed Glavin — one of the show’s three EPs, and the one at the center of many of the nastier claims — is among those who will be let go. “Once he’s out, it will be like a new day,” says a source close to the show, one of two who claim DeGeneres was largely kept shielded from Glavin’s day-to-day handling or mishandling of the staff. Others are expected to be out as well.

Below is DeGeneres’ full letter to her staff:

Hey everybody — it’s Ellen. 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.

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.

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.

Stay safe and healthy.

Love, 

Ellen

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett

Photographs are Courtesy:  AP

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