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04 October 2023

The Ellen Degeneres Show being investigated amid toxic work environment allegations

Photo: Bang

By Bang

'The Ellen Degeneres Show' is being investigated by WarnerMedia amid allegations of a "toxic work environment".

One current and 10 former employees of the daytime chat show - hosted by Ellen DeGeneres - recently came forward to accuse the show's three executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, of "bullying".

And following their allegations, Variety has now reported that show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television have sent a memo to the programme's staff to inform them that an investigation into the show's conduct has been launched.

WarnerMedia - which owns Warner Bros. Television - have sent their employee relations group to complete the investigation alongside a third party firm, who will reportedly "interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set".

The goal of the investigation is said to provide "an environment where employees can flourish".

In the original allegations from the show employees - which were published in a BuzzFeed article - Ellen, 62, was not accused of any wrongdoing, but the employees claimed they were instructed not to talk to her if they saw her in the building.

One former employee said: "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."

A Black woman claims she suffered a number of "microaggressions", her request for a raise was ignored and she was accused of "walking around looking resentful and angry" after asking for staff members to undergo diversity and inclusion training.

Another former employee alleges they were fired after taking medical leave for one month following a suicide attempt.

They said: "You'd think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don't want to add any more stress to their lives."

Following the allegations, the producers mentioned in the report released a statement saying they are "truly heartbroken" to hear that some members of staff have had a "negative experience".

They said: 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. 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. We take all of this very seriously and we realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."