Ellen Apologizes For ‘Toxic’ Work Environment

Photo: Getty Images


A few weeks ago BuzzFeed posted a story that featured past employees of Ellen DeGeneres’ show claiming that they suffered racial & sexual discrimination, and were bullied by senior employees of the show.  They claimed they were told not to even look at, let alone speak with Ellen if they came across her during the day.  Claims of sexual misconduct were also reported after one employee claimed a staff member would walk around asking people if they were “a top or a bottom.”  This was brushed off as just this person being who they are, and employees were asked not to take offense to the abuse.

Although there were no allegations made against Ellen herself, it is her show and she’s responsible for everyone that works for her.

Yesterday Ellen sent a company letter that explained that she couldn’t ‘micro-manage’ her staff who she thought would, “do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done.”

Ellen also claimed that her senior staff members would be held accountable, firing a major producer early this morning.

Ellen’s producers, Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Ed Glavin released a statement to Buzzfeed, “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.”

Warner Brothers, the studio that runs the Ellen show, has conducted an internal investigation and found that there were, “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”

You can read the letter from Ellen in its entirety below:

Hey everybody — it’s Ellen. 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. 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.

I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. 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.

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. 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.

It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.

I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then.

Stay safe and healthy.