ELLEN DeGeneres issued an apology letter to her staff amid rumors of transgressions on the set of her show.
The apology letter said: “I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that…”
Here is more on DeGeneres and her statement and the controversy surrounding her show.
Why is Ellen DeGeneres receiving so much backlash?
Rumors of The Ellen show being a “toxic” place for staff and crew began swirling after former staffers have alleged that senior executives, who work behind the scenes at the show, groped and kissed employees and solicited one of them for oral sex.
The allegations were reported by BuzzFeed News hours after it was revealed that DeGeneres broke her silence on claims the talk show set is a "toxic environment."
DeGeneres has also come under fire for joking about 'not wanting to pay staff overtime' in a resurfaced interview.
One ex-employee told BuzzFeed: "Warner Brothers has a responsibility not just to the people who work on The Ellen Show, but to its viewers and its shareholders to make sure people are protected on the job, and that they're not harassed, and they're not working in an environment that is toxic and unhealthy."
A Warner Bros. spokesperson issued a statement to address the investigation of the show.
“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 statement read.
Another former employee alleged Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer and executive producer, solicited him for oral sex at a company party in 2013.
In a statement issued to Buzzfeed, Leman said he categorically denied "any kind of sexual impropriety."
"I started at the Ellen Show as a PA more than 17 years ago and have devoted my career to work my way to the position I now hold.
"While my job as head writer is to come up with jokes – and, during that process, we can occasionally push the envelope – I’m horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense," he said.
"I have always aimed to treat everyone on the staff with kindness, inclusivity and respect.
"In my whole time on the show, to my knowledge, I’ve never had a single HR or inter-personal complaint made about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be published," he concluded.
Others claim they saw Leman grope and kiss employees, while nearly a dozen told BuzzFeed News he often made sexually explicit comments about colleagues.
DeGeneres has been getting backlash for allegedly “sweeping these issues under the rug.”
Former crew members and guests have hit out at the host claiming that she's much different from her happy-go-lucky television personality.
“Is she always nice? No,” said a former staffer.
“It irritates me that people think she’s all sweetness and light and she gets away with it.”
What was her apology letter?
DeGeneres’ apology letter read: "Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. 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.
"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.
"I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that.
"Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, 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. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
"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.
"It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice.
"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.
"I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world.
"I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience.
"If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then.
"Stay safe and healthy.
Who is Ed Glavin and is he getting fired?
Insiders of the show claim that executive producer Ed Glavin may be on the way out, according to Variety.
Warner Brothers is reportedly investigating complaints made by numerous people about his alleged behavior towards staff.
Glavin was part of a trio of senior producers closest to DeGeneres, which include Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly.
A July investigative report from BuzzFeed detailed numerous accusations of intimidation and racism on set, some specifically mentioning Glavin.
Five former employees allege he touched them in a way that made them uncomfortable by rubbing their shoulders and back, as well as placing his hand around their lower waist.
Dozens of former employees also said he “had a reputation for being handsy with women,” especially in the control room, and managed the team through fear and intimidation, according to BuzzFeed News.
“You could definitely see the creep factor and the creepy touching. That was out in the open for everybody to see,” one former employee, who said Glavin regularly touched her in the control room, told BuzzFeed.
“Obviously, no one wants that and no one wants to be uncomfortably touched by someone … but you didn’t want to piss them off or you would be fired, so it was just that culture of fear.”
Glavin, Connelly, and Lassner released a joint statement to BuzzFeed, claiming they take the claims "very seriously.”
"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," the letter read.
The trio continued: "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.”
They concluded: “For the record, 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.”
What are the other allegations against Ellen?
DeGeneres' staff reportedly once told a TV executive not to "look at her or speak to her."
TV personality Neil Breen claimed the chat show host had a series of "bizarre" demands when she appeared on his Australian program, the Today show, in 2013.
Breen claimed DeGeneres was initially supposed to co-host the Today show during her 2013 tour of Australia, but this plan was repeatedly changed by her team.
"The producer called us aside and said, 'Now Neil, no one is to talk to Ellen. You don't talk to her, you don't approach her, you don't look at her,'" he said.
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