Ellen DeGeneres said that she will be “talking” to her fans in the wake of allegations that the set of her daytime show is a “toxic” workplace.
The comedian, 62, who was spotted out at lunch in Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday, August 22, was asked by the Daily Mail how she thought her show was going to be now that three producers have been fired from the series. She responded, “I will be talking to my fans,” as she got into her car to leave the restaurant.
Her comment came five days after Warner Bros. Television announced that three senior producers had exited The Ellen DeGeneres Show after an investigation following allegations of racism and sexual misconduct in two BuzzFeed News exposés.
In a story posted on July 16, past and present employees of the show claimed they faced racism, fear and intimidation while working on the Emmy-winning series, with one former staffer telling the outlet it was “a toxic work environment” while others said they felt that the Finding Dory star should have intervened as host.
“That ‘be kind’ bulls–t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one former employee told BuzzFeed News. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner addressed the claims in a joint statement, saying that they were “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.” (Glavin was one of the three senior staffers axed amid accusations of sexual misconduct in a second BuzzFeed News report.)
DeGeneres subsequently addressed the controversy in a letter to her staff and wrote that she was “disappointed to learn” about the allegations.
“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,” she wrote in the letter obtained by Us Weekly on July 30. “To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”
A source told Us that DeGeneres said in a conversation with her producers and staff on Monday, August 17, that she was “not on set as much as everyone else, and she didn’t know what was going on.” The insider added that the star “said she was ashamed and embarrassed to hear about it” and “assured them it would not continue.”
The source said that the comedian “realizes she has to be more involved” with the show going forward.Listen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news!
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