After coming under scrutiny after the article was published, DeGeneres wrote a letter to its staff, which was obtained by CBS News on Thursday. In the letter, DeGeneres said she had hoped the show would be a “happy place” where everyone was “treated with respect” and was “disappointed to learn” that it “was not. the case “.She also said the show was taking steps to “correct the problems.” Warner Media, the show’s distributor, is also investigating the allegations, reports Jamie Yuccas of CBS News.
In a statement to CBS News, Warner Bros. said he had conducted an internal investigation and that “although not all allegations have been corroborated, we are disappointed that the main findings of the investigation point to certain shortcomings related to the day-to-day life of the show. management of the day. Warner Bros. said they had made several staff changes “as well as appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them”.
Just hours after DeGeneres responded to BuzzFeed News’ first report, a second was released. In the article published on July 30, BuzzFeed News said it had spoken to “dozens of men and women who work behind the scenes” on the show, who alleged that sexual harassment and misconduct of the major executive producers were endemic to the office.
Krystie Yandoli, the BuzzFeed News entertainment reporter who wrote the two articles, told CBS This Morning on Friday that she spoke to nearly 50 former employees who worked on “The Ellen Show.”
“Everyone says they found their behind-the-scenes experience to be in contrast to the benefits of the show. And what Ellen DeGeneres has built quite a brand, whose message “be kind”, “Yandoli said.
Some former employees suggested to BuzzFeed News that DeGeneres should take more responsibility for the environment. “They want to see a change in Ellen’s work environment and in televised work environments in general,” Yandoli said.
In its first report, BuzzFeed News wrote that most former employees blamed executive producers and other top executives for what they described as everyday toxicity.
A former employee, a black woman, told BuzzFeed News that she was the victim of racist comments, actions and “micro-attacks”. One employee said she was fed up with comments about her race, so she basically “quit her job”. Other former employees said they were unexpectedly fired after having to take medical leave and days of mourning.
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner responded to the allegations in the first report with a joint statement to BuzzFeed, saying they take employee stories “very seriously.”
In a statement to CBS News, executive producer Kevin Leman said the BuzzFeed News article was “filled with misrepresentation.” He said he “categorically” denies “any kind of sexual impropriety”. He said part of his job as an editor is to make up jokes, and he’s “horrified” that some of his attempts to write jokes could have been offensive.
“My goal has always been to treat all staff with kindness, inclusiveness and respect. During 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 believing that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be. released, ”Leman said.
Several allegations of sexual misconduct, ranging from inappropriate touching to sexually explicit comments, were made against Leman in the BuzzFeed News article.
In the second BuzzFeed report, specific allegations were made against Glavin, executive producer Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman.
Five former employees said Glavin touched them in a way that made them uncomfortable and dozens of other former employees also said he “has a reputation for being comfortable around women. », Reports BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed News also reports that five former employees said Glavin had a button on his desk that remotely closed his office door, which he used “as a bullying tactic” during reprimands.
Another former employee said Norman “groomed” him by taking him to concerts and other work-related benefits. He then attempted to give her a blowjob, the former employee told BuzzFeed News.
Leman and Norman both denied the allegations in statements to BuzzFeed News. The post said Glavin did not respond to a request for comment.
CBS News has contacted Glavin and Norman with a request for comment and is awaiting a response.