After an internal investigation conducted by WarnerMedia into The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen DeGeneres finally speaks out about the allegations of a toxic work environment.
“On day one of our show, 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. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” the LGBT+ icon said in a letter sent to her team on Thursday.
The talk show host expressed, “And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
A statement released by Warner Media claimed that Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres take the allegations very seriously and that they “hoped to determine the validity and extent of publicly reported allegations and to understand the full breadth of the show’s day-to-day culture.”
The investigation caught attention when in a story by BuzzFeed, 10 ex-employees and one staff member claimed that they underwent a culture of racism, fear, and intimidation around them. They consider senior managers responsible for allowing such culture.
BuzzFeed later posted an article which discussed the incidents of harassment, sexual misconduct and assault experienced by people from top producers on the show.
36 ex-team members shared with BuzzFeed the incidents of abuse.
One employee talked about them getting fired for taking time off for medical leave or bereavement.
WarnerMedia interviewed the current and ex-team members for the investigation. “It was important to both Warner Bros. and Ellen that as many people as possible attached to the program could be heard,” the statement said. “‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world.”
The statement further mentioned acknowledgment of “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management” and talked about alterations in staffing and incorporating measures to address the issues followed by implementation of the same.