Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Allegations of Workplace Hostility
She promised changes in a letter to staffers.
After reports of workplace misconduct at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres has issued a letter outlining changes coming to the show's production and dedicating efforts to real change. The Hollywood Reporter acquired a letter that DeGeneres sent out to her crew that addresses "former employees' anonymous accusations of racism, intimidation, unjust termination" that was first reported by BuzzFeed.
"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," DeGeneres wrote. "That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
After initial reports came out, WarnerMedia conducted an investigation, which THR notes is almost complete. DeGeneres's letter doesn't name any specific employees, but THR adds that Ed Glavin, one of the show’s three executive producers — and one of the main figures in the complaints — could be let go. Reports stated that Glavin often kept day-to-day news away from DeGeneres, so she may have been unaware of things going on.
"As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am," DeGeneres added. "I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded."
Glavin, along with fellow producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, issued a statement to BuzzFeed that said that they had done their best to create an "inclusive" workplace.
"Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment," it read. "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."
DeGeneres closed her letter saying that she wanted to tell the staff in person, but the coronavirus pandemic is keeping that from happening. She apologized outright and voiced her desire to have her staff enjoy their jobs and coming to work.
"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," the letter reads. "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."