The investigation was triggered after a number of former staff shared anonymous accounts of their negative experiences while working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Ten former crew members first came forward to make allegations of abuse by producers and other staff, which were published in a Buzzfeed News report.
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Many accusers claimed that the show’s production environment was “dominated by fear,” and claimed that employees who did not complain about working hours or micro-attacks were rewarded.
A source said: “They believe that everyone who works The Ellen Show is lucky to work there – ‘So if you have a problem you should leave because we are hiring someone else because everyone wants to work here.’ “
While DeGeneres was not personally involved in any of the alleged incidents, she was urged to comment on rumors surrounding her show’s work environment.
In a letter acquired by The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres has apologized to former staff members and is committed to ensuring better treatment of workers in the future.
“I told everyone at 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, ”the note said.
“Obviously something has changed and I am disappointed to hear that it hasn’t. And for that, I’m sorry.
DeGeneres appeared to deny knowledge of any negativity behind the scenes, saying the people who work with her “are speaking on my behalf and this has to stop.”
“As a person who has been judged and who has lost almost everything to be who I am, I truly understand and have a deep compassion for those who are viewed differently, or treated unfairly, not equal or – worse – neglected” , she wrote.
“To think that one of you felt this is horrible to me. “
Shortly before DeGeneres’ letter emerges, a new Buzzfeed The report cited allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment by the show’s executive producers.
Among the accusations, head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman made a number of inappropriate comments about junior workers in the workplace and was seen in May 2017 groping a production assistant in his car and kissing his neck. .
Leman issued a statement after the Buzzfeed the article was published to categorically deny “any form of sexual impropriety”.
“I started to The Ellen Show over 17 years ago, as an assistant assistant, i dedicated my career to carving out my way into the position i now occupy, ”he said.
“While my job as an editor is to make up jokes – and, during that process, we can sometimes push the boundaries – I’m horrified that some of my attempts at humor could have offended.
He continued, “I have always sought to treat all staff with kindness, inclusiveness and respect. In my entire time on the show, to my knowledge, I have never had a single HR or interpersonal complaint about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of article malicious and deceptive may be published. ”
A statement from Warner Bros. said, “It was important to Warner Bros and Ellen that as many people as possible with the program could be heard. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world.
“And while not all of the allegations have been corroborated, we are disappointed that the main findings of the investigation pointed to certain deficiencies related to the day-to-day management of the show. We have identified several staffing changes, as well as appropriate actions to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them.
The statement concluded, “We are confident that this course of action will lead us to the right path for the show.”