Ellen DeGeneres announced on Monday the ousting of executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman during a videoconference call with the show’s crew, and said an internal investigation into allegations in the workplace would soon be over, according to an employee. who was at the meeting.
Warner Bros. Media, which produces the show, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an earlier statement to BuzzFeed News, Leman said he categorically denied “any form of sexual impropriety”. Norman also said he “categorically 100% denies these allegations”.
At the meeting, other executive producers said DeGeneres will “do the rounds of small talks” with employees in the future. They also told staff members that they were committed to eliminating a “culture of fear”, that they were “shocked” to hear allegations that employees were not allowed to watch the host. and strengthened a direct line of communication with a human resources representative. , the source said.
In an email to staff obtained by BuzzFeed News, David McGuire, executive vice president of programming at Warner Bros., said, “We have promised you change and a new culture, and we are absolutely committed to it. ”
“Many of you have spoken with investigators at WarnerMedia, and we appreciate your honesty. And although the investigation is drawing to a close, our willingness to confidentially listen to your thoughts is ongoing, ”he said.
“We heard loud and clear that communication must be better, at all levels. PEs are already taking steps to make our communication more frequent and effective, ”he added. “I hope this rating is another way to show our commitment to do better. ”
The changes come after BuzzFeed News reported that five former employees said Glavin touched them in a way that made them uncomfortable rubbing their shoulders and back, as well as placing his hand around their smaller size. Dozens of former employees also said Glavin “had a reputation for being handy with women,” especially in the control room, and managed the team out of fear and intimidation.
In addition to the allegations of improper touching, 47 former employees told BuzzFeed News that Glavin leads daily with intimidation and fear. Five of them also said they saw Glavin use a button at his desk to remotely close his office door “as a bullying tactic” during the reprimands.
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Others said they were uncomfortable when Glavin used his private shower in his office bathroom.
“Before you even see his desk, you see his shower,” a former employee told BuzzFeed News. “He would shower openly and go to meetings with wet hair.
A former employee told BuzzFeed News that Leman asked him if he could give him an odd job or do a bathroom blowjob at a company party in 2013. On another occasion in May 2017, another former employee said he saw Leman grope a production assistant in a car and kiss his neck.
Another former employee said Leman grabbed the penis of a production assistant in another incident.
Nearly a dozen former employees also said it was common for Leman to make sexually explicit comments in the office, asking other colleagues questions such as, “Are you a high or a low?” ” and highlighting the bulges of male employees in their crotches.
The allegations of sexual harassment follow a previous BuzzFeed News report in which dozens of employees said they face racism, fear and bullying at work. The report sparked an internal investigation which DeGeneres acknowledged in a letter to staff would be conducted to “correct the problems.”