Making amends. Ellen DeGeneres has apologized to her staff after WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month following allegations of a toxic work environment.
“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,” the talk show host, 62, wrote in a letter to her staff on Thursday, July 30, obtained by Us Weekly. “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.”
DeGeneres added that as the daytime talk show grew she was not “able to stay on top of everything “and “relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Cleary some didn’t.”
She continued, “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.”
The Ellen’s Game of Games host said that she is “committed to ensuring this does not happen again” and promised to “correct the issues” moving forward.
“It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice,” she wrote. “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.”
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News reported that 10 former Ellen employees alleged they faced racism, fear and intimidation behind the scenes of the Daytime Emmy winning series.
“That ‘be kind’ bulls–t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one of the former staffers told the outlet. “I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Another ex-staffer said that the toxic environment was due to the executive producers and other senior staff members’ behavior, not DeGeneres herself. However, the ex-employee felt the Ellen alum should “be more involved” with the show off-camera.
“I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,’ and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that,” the former employee said.
Variety reported on Monday, July 27, that WarnerMedia and a third party firm are interviewing current and former staffers as part of an internal investigation into the show.
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