Ellen DeGeneres bosses have released a statement mid-July after Buzzfeed News published a story claiming there was a “toxic” work environment on the show.
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner told E! News they were taking the claims “very seriously,” adding in a statement, “We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.
“For the record, the day to day responsibility of ‘The Ellen Show’ is completely on us,” the statement read. “We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”
One current and 10 former employees spoke to Buzzfeed for the piece, with some saying they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days, and others saying they were told not to speak to DeGeneres if she was around the office.
“People focus on rumours about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that’s not the problem,” one former employee claimed. “The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean. They feel that everybody who works at ‘The Ellen Show’ is lucky to work there: ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'”
A Black woman who used to work on “Ellen” said she experienced “microaggressions” and was “reprimanded” by Glavin when she asked for a raise and suggested people undergo diversity and inclusion training.
“I feel like I’m not alone in this,” she said. “We all feel this. We’ve been feeling this way, but I’ve been too afraid to say anything because everyone knows what happens when you say something as a Black person. You’re blacklisted.”
Another person said of DeGeneres, “If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on.
“I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,’ and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that.”
WarnerMedia has since launched an internal investigation, Variety reports.
WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third party firm will be interviewing current and past staff members about their experiences on set.
A rep for Warner Bros. declined to comment to Variety.
ET Canada has also reached out to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for comment, but has not heard back.