Ellen DeGeneres Responds to Allegations of "Toxic" Work Culture in Letter to Staff
'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' had been under investigation after executives were accused of fostering a toxic work environment
Published Jul 31, 2020Earlier this week, news emerged that executives of The Ellen DeGeneres Show were being investigated for allegedly fostering a toxic work environment. Now, Ellen herself has promised to do better in a new letter to staff.
Despite allegations that executives told employees of the show not to speak to Ellen directly when she was in the office, she still sent staff a direct message that was published by The Hollywood Reporter.
DeGeneres took responsibility for the issues because the show bears her name in its title, adding that she wants 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," she wrote. "That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
A more official statement was also released by Warner Media:
Though not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show's day-to-day management. We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them. Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion. We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show.
The toxic workplace discussion started when BuzzFeed spoke to one current employee and 10 former employees of the show. Some employees claim they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend funerals, while others alleged that executives engaged in racist behaviour behind closed doors.
"That 'be kind' bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show," one former employee told BuzzFeed. "I know they give money to people and help them out, but it's for show."