Kindness, dancing, and cordial celebrity interviews have helped Ellen DeGeneres establish a solid public talk-show image. However, according to Variety, allegations of a supposedly poisonous workplace atmosphere at The Ellen DeGeneres Show prompted WarnerMedia to launch an internal investigation.
The production company for the show, Telepictures, and the distributor, Warner Bros. Television, reportedly “sent a memo to staffers…stating they have engaged WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee-relations group and a third-party firm, who will interview current and former staff members about their experiences on set,” according to sources who spoke to the outlet. Variety. A representative for Warner Bros. Television and The Ellen DeGeneres Show both refused Variety’s request for comment on the stories, respectively.
There are reports of problems at work. A story by BuzzFeed News that featured testimonies from current and former Ellen staff members who said they were mistreated while working for the show was released in the middle of July. (They all requested anonymity.)
That “be polite” nonsense only occurs when the cameras are rolling. All of it is for the show, a former worker told BuzzFeed. “I know they assist people out and give them money, but it’s only for show.” One Black woman claimed she experienced racial insults and microaggressions, including comments on her box braids. At a work party, she said that one of Ellen’s senior writers mistook her for another Black employee and apologized, saying, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white folks.”
None of the accusations were made specifically about DeGeneres. According to a worker quoted in the BuzzFeed article, “she needs to be more active to see what’s going on if she wants to have her own program and have her name on the show title.” “I believe the executive producers are all around her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everyone’s happy,’ and she just thinks that, but it’s her duty to go beyond that,” says the executive producer.
What famous person would you like to eat dinner with, 70 Women, Ages 5 to 75?
I usually don't share these viral heartstring tugger-type posts, but this quote from Ellen DeGeneres about Anne Heche's passing really got to me pic.twitter.com/q2XXrEv2xj
— Django Gold (@django) August 16, 2022
Executive producers Andy Lassner, Ed Glavin, and Mary Connelly stated in a statement to the source, “Over the span of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have endeavored to create a show that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
For the record, we are solely responsible for managing the daily operations of the Ellen show, according to the statement. We take everything extremely seriously and understand that we must improve. We are determined to improve, and we will improve, just as many people around the world are learning.
Additionally, some former producers have published their telling stories. During the pandemic, there was a salary issue as well. The coronavirus pandemic forced The Ellen DeGeneres Show, along with a number of American television productions, to change how it was produced.
Members of the crew claimed that they “got no formal notification concerning the status of their working hours, wages, or benefits” in an April 16 Variety article.
At the time, the studio informed Variety that the crew had received constant pay for fewer hours worked. According to a Warner Bros. Television spokesman, “Our executive producers and Telepictures are devoted to taking care of our personnel and crew and have made decisions first and foremost with them in mind.”
On social media, reports concerning DeGeneres’ conduct have also been circulating. A Kevin T. Porter Twitter thread on the claims that Ellen DeGeneres is not as kind as her public persona went viral in March. We all require a little kindness right now. He tweeted, “You know like Ellen Degeneres always speaks about! She is renowned for being among the cruelest persons living.
There have been fresh charges of sexual misbehavior. Several employees made allegations concerning head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman’s behavior in a BuzzFeed News article that was released on July 30. (The source reported speaking with 36 individuals.)
Leman is accused of grabbing the penis of a production assistant and asking another former worker whether he could give him a hand job or engage in oral sex with him in a restroom, according to two different former coworkers. There were further allegations of groping. According to reports, he routinely asked, “Are you a top or a bottom?” in the workplace.