Ellen Degeneres has apologised to staff of her talk show following allegations of a "toxic work environment".
One current and 10 former employees of The Ellen Degeneres Show recently came forward to accuse the show's three executive producers — Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner — of "bullying", and the allegations have since prompted an internal investigation by WarnerMedia.
But now the show's host Ellen has come forward to publicly apologise to any staff member who has felt they were not "treated with respect" during their time on the programme.
In a letter to her staff, she said: "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.
"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."
Ellen went on to acknowledge that her show's success — which has seen her win 30 Emmy awards, and 20 People's Choice Awards among many other accolades - wouldn't have been possible without her staff.
She added: "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. 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."
And the show host has claimed she is working with WarnerMedia on their investigation, and will help to determine the next steps to "correct the issues" they found.
According to Variety, Ed Glavin is "set to exit his role imminently".
In the original allegations from the show employees — which were published in a BuzzFeed article — Ellen, 62, was not accused of any wrongdoing, but the employees claimed they were instructed not to talk to her if they saw her in the building.
Following the allegations, the producers mentioned in the report released a statement saying they are "truly heartbroken" to hear that some members of staff have had a "negative experience".
They said: "Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 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.
"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 realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
Read Ellen's full letter:
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.