The Ellen DeGeneres Show is the subject of an internal investigation by Warner Media after a controversial article was published that exposed a toxic work environment.
Last week, a memo was sent out by the show’s producer Telepictures and its distributor Warner Bros. Television by Telepictures Vice President Donna Redier Linsk and WBTV Vice President of Human Resources Donna Hancock Husband to inform employees that both WarnerMedia’s employee relations team and a third party firm will proceed to interview former and current staff about their experiences in the workplace.
In the BuzzFeed article, which was published in mid July, former employees stepped forward to say that they had experienced intimidation, racism and countless microaggressions. Many pointed the finger at executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner.
The three produced a statement that explained they were taking the accusations “very seriously.” They said, “Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment. 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.”
The statement went on, “The day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”
The reporter who wrote the BuzzFeed article Krystie Lee Yandoli commented on the issue in an interview with Today, “The biggest common thread that everyone told me is that what goes on behind the scenes is a far cry from what the show represents in their ‘be kind’ messaging and what the show and what Ellen DeGeneres herself profits off of.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is currently on its annual summer break.