Ellen DeGeneres is breaking her silence after an investigation was undertaken on allegations of a “toxic work environment” on the daytime talk show that bears her name.
After some former employees shared stories of being treated poorly, an internal investigation was undertaken.
With that investigation underway, DeGeneres reached out to members of the show’s staff in an internal letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” DeGeneres wrote. “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… 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.”
Noting that she was glad to have been made aware of the issues, DeGeneres added that she and Warner Bros. were taking steps to “correct the issues” once the internal investigation had concluded.
“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,” she continued. “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… 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,” she added.
“I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world,” DeGeneres concluded. “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.”
Warner Bros. Television, which produces the show, also issued a statement.
“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,” the statement began.
” 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,” the statement continued.
“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,” the statement concluded. “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.”