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After multiple accusations from employees of a "toxic work environment" on her show, Ellen DeGeneres has reached out to her staff.
The drama on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" began in April as reports circulated claiming the show's staff was left uninformed as to the status of their pay or employment amid the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, accounts of "cold" behavior from the 62-year-old comedian herself, including from her former bodyguard, became numerous.
In July, BuzzFeed published an explosive story featuring testimonials from various anonymous current and former employees, who accused the show of, among other things, racism, bullying, wrongful termination and more.
Ellen DeGeneres’ eponymous television show has come under fire for an alleged toxic workplace environment.
Now, in a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter and The Associated Press, DeGeneres has addressed the claims and promised change in the work environment to staffers.
"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," she began. "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 continued, explaining that as the show has "grown exponentially," she has had to turn to others to self-manage, which some employees did not do.
"That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again," she stated.
The "Finding Dory" star cited her own past struggles — having nearly lost her career when she came out as a reason for her having compassion toward those who are treated differently.
DeGeneres has also been accused of poor behavior, including by a man who worked as her bodyguard at the Oscars, who claimed she didn’t even say hello.
"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," she said. "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."
The comedian concluded: "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."
Warner Bros. offered a statement to Fox News on Thursday, explaining that they "take the recent allegations around the show’s workplace culture very seriously."
The statement explained that in order to "determine the validity and extent of publicly reported allegations and to understand the full breadth of the show’s day-to-day culture," many current and former employees were interviewed.
‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ has been on air in its current form since 2003 and is currently being shot remotely from the comedian’s home in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. (Randy Holmes/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
"'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world," Warner Bros. said. "And though not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management. 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."
While there were no specifics given as to the staffing changes, sources told THR that executive producer Ed Glavin will likely be axed.
"Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion," the statement concluded. "We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show."
Reps for DeGeneres and the show also sent the Warner Bros. statement to Fox News.
In a previous statement to BuzzFeed, Glavin and the show's other executive producers, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, said they were "truly heartbroken and sorry" to learn of the accusations.
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