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Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Toxic Workplace Complaints

Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Toxic Workplace Complaints

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been hit with claims of a toxic work culture recently, with former staffers alleging they had experienced racism, intimidation and unjust termination while working at the programme.

At first, as many as ten former crew members came forward to allege mistreatment at the hands of producers and other staff members, in a report published by Buzzfeed News.

Ellen has spoken out on toxic workplace allegations (Credit: Warner Bros)
Ellen has spoken out on toxic workplace allegations (Credit: Warner Bros)

Claims included the assertion that the show was "dominated by fear," while one anonymous source said: "They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there - 'So if you have a problem, you should leave because we'll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.'"

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Another said: "That 'be kind' bullsh*t only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show.

"I know they give money to people and help them out, but it's for show."

The allegations are currently under official investigation by Telepictures and Warner Bros Television, which are reportedly nearly completed.

Now, in a letter seen by The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen has taken responsibility for all the allegations against her show, and vowed to "correct the issues" being raised.

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"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," she wrote.

"Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry.

"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."

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Ellen went on to share sympathy with those who had been treated badly due to their differences, reminding them that she had direct experience of this as a gay woman.

"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".

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The show's producers have spoken out (Credit: PA)
The show's producers have spoken out (Credit: PA)

As the allegations surfaced earlier this month, the show's executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner said in a statement: "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."

However, staffers have gone on to make a number of fresh allegations against Galvin and executive producer Kevin Leman, accusing them of sexual misconduct.

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On July 30th, Buzzfeed reported that five former employees had accused executive producer Ed Glavin of touching them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable, through actions such as invasively rubbing their shoulders and backs and putting his hand around their waists as he interacted with them on set.

The article also noted his alleged reputation for "being handsy with women" and accused him of outbursts of anger, which are said to have contributed to a "culture of fear".

Fresh allegations against staffers have surfaced since Ellen's apology (Credit: PA)
Fresh allegations against staffers have surfaced since Ellen's apology (Credit: PA)

Galvin is yet to respond to the allegations.

Co-executive producer Jonathan Norman also comes in the firing line, after an allegation was made that he 'groomed' a former employee - offering him special treatment and job perks before then attempting to perform oral sex on him.


The Buzzfeed article added that several former employees of The Ellen Show had accused Leman of behaving inappropriately, too - at a company party in 2013 and in May 2017.

In total, almost a dozen people who worked on the show told the online publication that Leman would regularly make sexual comments around the office, mentioning his male colleagues' bulges and asking inappropriate questions such as: "Are you a top or a bottom?"

He also faces allegations of groping multiple individuals, and soliciting one other for oral sex. One former employee said she witnessed him groping a production assistant and kissing his neck in a car.

Leman has since said he is "horrified" that any "attempts at humour may have caused offence" but has vehemently denied "any kind of sexual impropriety".

Tyla has contacted Ellen for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Topics: TV News

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]

 

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