Back in action. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is making a plan to move forward in the wake of former staffers’ allegations against several of its executive producers, senior staff and the talk show host herself.
The producers held a call with staffers on Monday, August 3, one week after WarnerMedia announced its internal review of the daytime talk show. A source tells Us Weekly exclusively that they “addressed” the media reports during the meeting and said they want their team to “have fun at work.” Among those attending the meeting were executive producers Andy Lassner, Mary Connelly and Derek Westervelt.
“They said a lot of [the claims are] true and a lot of it is not true,” the source adds. “They said we are handling everything [and] things will be very different now. … A show that brings so much happiness and fun, it should be a happy show to work on.”
As the meeting continued, a handful of employees “voiced some concerns,” while some of the producers “got called out about stuff that happened in the past.” Despite rumors, the team reassured their crew that “the show will go on.”
“The producers ultimately said you all still have a job here and you will all get paid, however that may be,” the source says. “They said Ellen [DeGeneres] is not giving up and the show will go on. … That woman brings so much joy to people that it would break a lot of hearts to stop doing this show. It was a pep talk and made some staffers feel better.”
The call comes weeks after BuzzFeed News posted an exposé with 11 current and former employees claiming that they experienced racism, fear and intimidation behind the scenes of the Emmy-winning series — and that the host, 62, should have put an end to it.
The comedian, 62, later broke her silence about the allegations in a lengthy apology to her staff on July 30.
“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,” DeGeneres wrote in a letter obtained by Us. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry.”
The Ellen’s Game of Games host vowed that she was “committed to ensuring this does not happen again” and promised to “correct the issues” that caused several of her staff members to speak out. “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,” she concluded.
Shortly after DeGeneres made her statement, 36 former employees came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct by high-ranking producers of the talk show. Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin and Jonathan Norman were all named in a BuzzFeed News report detailing the alleged incidents. Both Leman and Norman have denied the accusations. Glavin has not yet addressed the claims but will reportedly be stepping down from his role as executive producer.
Before the series returned to filming, an insider told Us that DeGeneres would be just fine if she decided to exit the daytime show — and that she’s “has never been afraid to fire anyone who is bad.”
“Ellen has enough money to never work again. She would be fine to leave the show,” the source said, noting that the TV icon is “more than financially secure” at this point in her career. “She has enough money to live a great life.”