The Ellen DeGeneres show is in hot water with parent company WarnerMedia, who is investigating after allegations of workplace violations have been made widely public.
Former staffers reported that DeGeneres’ popular daytime show was a breeding ground for toxic behavior including racism and intimidation tactics against employees. Some reported that they were told by managers never speak to the show’s namesake herself.
WarnerMedia and show producer Telepictures sent a memo out to show staff last week, informing them that Warner’s employee relations group and an unaffiliated firm would be conducting an investigation into the on-set conduct. Both current and former employees will be interviewed about their experiences working on the show.
Warner Bros. Television and The Ellen DeGeneres Show have not commented on the investigation. However, executive producers Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner, and Mary Connelly released a joint statement following the initial Buzzfeed report on work conditions.
“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,” The group said, absolving DeGeneres of accountability. “For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. 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.”
The series mission to “be kind to one another,” seems to be just for the cameras, as Variety reported the staff was told to expect pay cuts during the Covid-19 production halt in April. When filming resumed from DeGeneres’ home, the Ellen staff was shocked to learn that they had been replaced by non union film crews.
DeGeneres has not commented on the controversy