Ellen: “I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything”

Ellen DeGeneres has written to staff following reports on workplace culture and an investigation initiated by WarnerMedia.

In a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres takes responsibility, insofar as the show bears her name, and insists that steps will be taken to “correct the issues” going forward.

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.

Love,

Ellen

Buzzfeed previously published allegations by former employees’ of racism, intimidation, unjust termination and an overall toxic work culture, perpetuated by the show’s top producers.

A Warner Bros. spokesperson has said: “Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres take the recent allegations around the show’s workplace culture very seriously. We hoped to determine the validity and extent of publicly reported allegations and to understand the full breadth of the show’s day-to-day culture. As a result, WarnerMedia interviewed dozens of current and former employees about the environment at The Ellen DeGeneres ShowIt was important to both Warner Bros. and Ellen that as many people as possible attached to the program could be heard. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world. 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. 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.

7 Comments:

  1. Funny that so many have been mercilessly “cancelled” for so, so much less, yet Ellen seems to have a bottomless pit of get out of gaol free cards courtesy of the higher-ups.

  2. This whole, “Ellen is a terrible person” thing being a new story. Anyone else sitting here going, “This has been known and widely said for years?”

  3. Ed Glavin long time EP of Ellen is reported to be going. The first of many changes that may come within Ellen. I see nothing surprising from Neil Breen’s (ex Today Show) accusations on what goes on behind the scenes of interviewing someone in the entertainment industry and the demands required to get the interview, its not unusual. In the music industry its the touring riders, in TV its don’t talk to the talent. Everyone in the business is about promotion if the promotion is not what is required they have issues. Ellen is a marketing mega million dollar industry they need to keep the brand on track. The thing about the production of series like Ellen is how many of the people running around behind the scenes may not be being paid, the US intern system allows people to experience “working” on productions and other businesses on their own dime, no costs for the studio or production…

    • The demands considered exclusive from Ellen or team regarding the ex Today show boss accusations are not uncommon in the entertainment industry. Many celebrities have incredibly unusual demands and celebrities from the entertainment industry on stage and on screen have been known to make what could be considered ridiculous or over the top, obscure or extremely hard to find demands in their etiquette, riders or green room products, and food and beverage demands. I think celebrities should still be more humble and have real world expectations. At the same time, some interviewers have also been known to overstep the mark or boundaries when it comes to celebrities.

  4. The former Today show boss revelations on top of the Dakota Johnson interview and prison joke backlash seems to have not helped the situation, though it could well be another case of the person at the top of the brand not looking after the management and operations of the brand or business, like what happened to George Calombaris who also took responsibility for poor oversight.

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