Ellen DeGeneres apologized to employees of her television talk show the day after several complaints surfaced that she was in a toxic work environment, while reports that a top producer will get the ax.
Ed Glavin, one of three executive producers at Ellen, is fired from Warner Bros., the studio responsible for the highly rated and lucrative show, sources told The Hollywood Reporter.
In a letter to her employees, DeGeneres said that she took overall responsibility for her namesake show and that steps were planned to "fix the problems."
"As we have grown exponentially, I have been unable to keep track of the situation and I have relied on others to do their jobs knowing that I want to do them," DeGeneres wrote, suggesting that leaders Employees would be held accountable.
"Obviously, some didn't."
"That will change now and I am determined to ensure that this does not happen again."
Ed Glavin (left), one of three executive producers working on Ellen DeGeneres' highly rated talk show (right), is sacking reporters, according to The Hollywood, by Warner Bros., the studio responsible for the lucrative program
Producers Mary Connelly (left), Andy Lassner (center) and Ed Glavin come to the 37th Annual Emmy Awards for Daytime Entertainment, which will take place on June 27, 2010 at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada. Glavin is said to be one of several likely to be released
& # 39; I SAD & # 39;: FULL TEXT BY ELLEN DEGENERES & # 39; LETTER TO STAFF
Ellen DeGeneres attends the September 13, 2015 Bi-Coastal Season 13 premiere of & # 39; The Ellen DeGeneres Show & # 39; at the Rockefeller Center in New York City
Hello everyone – it's Ellen.
On the first day of our show, in our first meeting, I told everyone that the Ellen DeGeneres show would be a place of happiness – nobody would ever speak and everyone would be treated with respect.
Obviously something has changed and I am disappointed to learn that this was not the case. And I’m sorry.
Everyone who knows me knows that it is the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
Without all of your contributions, I couldn't have had the success I had.
My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for it.
Together with Warner Bros, we immediately initiated an internal investigation and are taking steps together to resolve the issues.
Since we have grown exponentially, I have been unable to keep track of it and have relied on others to do their jobs knowing that I want to do them.
Obviously, some have not. That will change now and I am determined to ensure that this does not happen again.
I also learn that people who work with and for me speak on my behalf and misrepresent who I am and that has to stop.
As someone who has been judged and has lost almost everything just because he is who I am, I really understand and have deep sympathy for those who are viewed differently or treated unfairly, not immediately or, worse, ignored.
To think that one of you felt that way is terrible for me.
It's been far too long, but we're finally having discussions about fairness and justice.
We all need to be more aware of how our words and actions affect others, and I'm glad I was made aware of the problems at our show.
I promise to do my part to keep pushing, learning and growing myself and everyone around me.
It is important for me and Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say should speak up and feel safe.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all do in the world.
I want everyone to love our show at home and I want everyone who manages to love to work on it.
Again, I am so sorry for anyone who has not had this experience.
Without COVID I would have done it personally and I can't wait to get back on our stage and see you all.
Stay safe and healthy.
According to THR, Glavin was the focus of several employee complaints.
"Once he's gone, it will be like a new day," said one source.
Glavin was reportedly responsible for the day-to-day work with the staff. Sources reported to THR that DeGeneres was "largely protected from Glavin's behavior towards employees".
Sources also told THR that Glavin is likely to be one of several released.
Upon reaching DailyMail.com, a Warner Bros. spokesman declined to comment. In a statement to the deadline, however, the studio confirmed an investigation and its disappointment.
"While not all allegations have been confirmed, we are disappointed that the primary results of the investigation indicated some shortcomings in the day-to-day management of the show," the statement said. "We have identified various changes in personnel and suitable measures to remedy the problems raised and are taking the first steps to implement them. Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to a workplace based on respect and inclusion. We are confident that this approach will put us on the right track for the show. & # 39;
Earlier this month, Glavin and the other two top producers in the series, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, made a statement to BuzzFeed News: "Over the course of almost two decades, 3,000 episodes and with over 1,000 employees, we have endeavored to be open, create a safe and inclusive work environment.
“We are really heartbroken and we are sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had negative experiences.
"It is not who we are and who we want to be and not the mission Ellen has set for us."
The news of Glavin's reported dismissal comes when Warner Bros. subsidiary Telepictures is about to complete an internal investigation into allegations that Ellen employees have been subjected to bullying, racist commentary, and abuse.
An internal memo sent out last week stated that current and former employees are interviewed behind the scenes about allegations of "abuse, racism, and intimidation".
Ellen was not accused of doing something wrong herself.
The memo insisted that producers Telepictures and Warner Bros. Television commit to "creating an environment in which employees can thrive".
In her letter to the staff, DeGeneres noted the irony of the allegations regarding her show's declared mission to be a “place of happiness”.
She also alluded to her much-appreciated "coming out" as a lesbian in the 1990s.
"As someone who has been judged and has lost almost everything just because of who I am, I really understand and have deep sympathy for those who are viewed differently or treated unfairly, not immediately or, worse, ignored" , she writes.
Industry observers had not expected the show to be canceled altogether due to its popularity and the substantial revenue it generated for Warner Bros.
Forbes says Ellen is a cash cow that earns an estimated $ 35 million a year for the studio.
DeGeneres itself is one of the highest paid talk show hosts in the country and earns an estimated $ 50 million a year from the program.
According to Damali Peterman, a consumer electronics lawyer and conflict mediator, it seems like a wise choice to fire one producer and others instead of canceling the entire show.
"I don't think there is the perfect show, the perfect restaurant, the perfect workplace," Peterman told DailyMail.com
“There are solutions that can be brought to light or presented to solve certain problems.
"If we know that someone can be called racist and this cannot be addressed through dialogue, that person should possibly be dismissed."
"But does that go up to the level of an entire show that employs thousands of people? It is not the right solution. "
In the meantime, DeGeneres is likely to be criticized by those who say that she scapegoats Glavin and others who may be released.
"Ellen's testimony appears to be an attempt to trick the public into believing that she had no knowledge of the horrific behavior that is now a Warner investigation that could split her career in Tinseltown into scattered parts," said Eric Schiffer , a brand and reputation management expert.
Ellen was on the verge of being buried alive, and she only took responsibility for the threat and pressure to lose her show.
“If an avalanche hadn't been approached by investigators, it would have kept on clinging.
"Ellen somehow has to believe that the public is stupid and would accept that she didn't know what was happening to people in her own manufacturing facility on her own payroll.
"It's the same demonstration of ice-cold, crazy Hollywood arrogance that allowed people to be treated like animals and led to Ellen's underlying investigation."
Earlier this week, further allegations of a culture described as toxic on the set of Ellen emerged.
A Australian Today Show executive said he shouldn't be watching or talking to DeGeneres when it was on the program in 2013.
Neil Breen, who is now putting on his own show, said Ellen's staff were the only ones allowed to interact with her – and they went on eggshells and laughed so loudly at their jokes during the interview that he had to tell them it was them should be calm.
He added that Ellen's people dictated everything from sitting to lighting to how the interview works – and that he found the whole situation to be "bizarre".
Breen told 4BC, the radio station that he is now a host on, that Ellen was originally supposed to moderate the Today show during her Australia tour seven years ago, but the plan has been continually changed and watered down by her team.
Eventually it was agreed that Ellen would conduct a seat interview with entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins in Melbourne – which meant that production would have to be moved from Sydney to the Sydney show, Breen said.
Breen said he and Wilkins had arrived in "one of Melbourne's upmarket hotels" on the day of the interview to find "many people" from Ellen's team waiting for them.
"The producer called us aside and said," Well, Neil, nobody should talk to Ellen. You don't speak to her, you don't approach her, you don't look at her, "he said.
During the interview itself, Breen had to ask Ellen's staff to stop laughing at their jokes, as this interrupted the recording.
Breen said he had no idea if Ellen knew what was going on around her "because I was never allowed to speak to her."
"I have no idea if she is a nice person or not, I would have no idea," he added. "But I can tell you that the people who work with her have been walking on eggshells all the time.
“We're here to do an interview to promote what she's doing, but you can't watch her? Someone becomes real. & # 39;
"Don't look at her": Before the interview, one of Ellen's producers, Neil Breen (pictured), had apparently warned not to recognize the Emmy winner at all when she entered the room
Internal investigation: Breen claims that the Ellen DeGeneres show is under investigation after reports of employee abuse and bullying at work
Claims: Earlier this month, some members of the Ellen DeGeneres Show accused the three executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner of bullying. Pictured: Ellen with pop star Justin Bieber
Executioner's statements by Ellen show
& # 39; In almost two decades, 3,000 episodes and with over 1,000 employees, we have tried to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment.
& # 39; We are really heartbroken and we are sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had negative experiences. It is not who we are and who we want to be and not the mission that Ellen has set us.
& # 39; For the recording, the daily responsibility of the Ellen Show is entirely up to us. We take it all very seriously and we recognize that many in the world are learning that we have to do it better, that we want to do it better, and that we will do it better. & # 39;
From executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner
Earlier this month, a number of members of the Ellen DeGeneres Show described it as a "toxic work environment".
A current and ten former employees of the daytime chat show accused the three executive producers – Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner – of bullying.
A source told Buzzfeed: "The problem is these three executive producers who run the show and are responsible for all those (and) people who make the culture and express that feeling of bullying and meanness.
"You feel that everyone who works at The Ellen Show is lucky enough to work there:" So if you have a problem, you should go because we hire someone else because everyone wants to work here. "
Although DeGeneres was not accused of misconduct, employees have claimed to have been instructed not to speak to her when they saw her in the building.
A former employee said: “If you want to have your own show and want your name on the show title, you need to be more involved to see what's going on. I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, "Things are going great, everyone is happy," and she just believes it, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that. & # 39;
A black woman claims that she has suffered a number of "microaggressions", ignored her request for a raise, and was accused of "walking around annoyingly and angrily" after asking employees to undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee claims that they were fired after a month's vacation after attempting suicide.
They said, "You would think that if someone was just trying to kill themselves, you didn't want to add any more stress to their lives."
In April, it was reported that the Ellen crew was upset about the lack of communication and transparency from the bosses after being forced to cut salaries when production stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A group of around 30 employees were upset that Ellen had hired an outside non-union company called Key Code Media to film the show while it was quarantined at home.
Viral: The backlash against Ellen gained momentum on March 20 when comedian Kevin T. Porter asked his Twitter followers to post their "crazy" stories about "Ellen is mean".
Don't talk to her: social media users interfered in their experiences, often with similar topics
Queen of social distancing! Ellen was accused of being unapproachable and some crew members were asked not to speak to her
"Higher production numbers occasionally answered calls but revealed little," insiders told Variety. The crew, whose pay was cut by 40 percent due to the changes caused by the virus, told Variety.
Sources told the outlet that this wasn't the case for all shows, as the crews for John Oliver, Desus & Mero, and Samantha Bee received their full prizes, while Jimmy Kimmel dipped into his own pocket for a while to keep his employees busy regular prices.
The producers replied that "our executive producers and telepictures take care of our employees and crew and made decisions primarily taking these decisions into account."
Shocking Allegations: Ellen has been accused of being rude to some people
Earlier this year, numerous reports of previous employees surfaced claiming Ellen was rude on the set and warned crew members not to speak to the host or make eye contact.
The backlash against Ellen gained momentum on March 20 when comedian Kevin T. Porter asked his Twitter followers to post their "crazy" stories about "Ellen is mean". (Porter's efforts involved a charity for the Los Angeles Food Bank.)
The writer Ben Simeon replied: & # 39; A new employee was told: "Every day (Ellen) someone else chooses to really hate him. It is not your fault, just soak it up for the day and it will be on next day be mean to someone else. "You didn't believe it, but it turned out to be completely true. & # 39;
Say what? Benjamin Siemon tweeted about an employee who was told to expect Ellen to be mean
Sensitive noise: The author also said the host was very special in terms of personal hygiene
"Everyone has to chew gum from a bowl in front of her office before speaking to her. If she thinks you smell that day, you have to go home and take a shower," added Simeon in another tweet.
Ellen – who is said to be valued at $ 330 million – also caught numbness after joking that locking her in her opulent mansion was "like being in prison."
It comes after the show's representatives were forced to decline reports earlier this month that the program was about to be canceled.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Ellen continued to broadcast her daytime show from the living room of the mansion in Montecito, California, which she shares with her wife, Australian actress Portia De Rossi, 47.
Bullying, racism and a "toxic work environment": the allegations against Ellen
Allegations of a "toxic" job on the Ellen DeGeneres show surfaced in April when employees claimed to be ill-treated during the corona virus shutdown.
The staff said they had almost no support from the show's producers after the studio closed. DeGeneres started to keep out of her Santa Barbara villa.
Employees said an external, non-union company was hired for the telefilms while receiving almost no communication about their own jobs, salary packages, or requests for physical or mental health.
When the executives finally got in touch, they should tell the team they'd have to cut their wages by 60 percent, Variety said.
Ellen's own message was particularly unsettling for the staff when her show aired again on April 7, which she dedicated to her staff and crew.
"I love her, I miss her. The best thing I can do to support her is to keep the show in the air," she said.
These claims were followed by a buzzfeed report detailing the claims of a “toxic” work environment.
Ten former and one current Ellen employee reported being bullied for being part of family burials or on sick leave, while a woman claimed she quit the job after receiving comments about her race.
& # 39; The "be nice" bull *** only happens when the cameras are turned on. It's all for the show, "said an anonymous employee.
The staff said they shouldn't speak to DeGeneres herself while she was on the set, and that the daily routine of the show is up to the producers.
The staff said they hadn't heard firsthand that DeGeneres was uncomfortable, but they needed to take more responsibility for how their staff were treated.
However, allegations against the presenter have emerged from other sources – triggered by a Twitter thread of the comedian Kevin T. Porter
He called DeGeneres "notoriously one of the meanest living people" and asked people about "the craziest stories you heard about Ellen as mean".
The tweet received 2,600 replies and saw that Porter gave $ 600 to a food bank in LA after pledging to donate $ 2 for each legitimate mean story.
Claims included that staff have to chew gum before speaking to them because of their "sensitive nose", and that they monitor staff orders and prohibit anyone from eating fish or meat.
Regardless, security personnel Tom Majercak, who was used as Ellen's bodyguard at the 2014 Oscars, said she was "smart" and "humiliating" for him.
"Ellen is the only person I was assigned to – and I was assigned to some celebrities – who never took the time to say hello to me," he said.
"She is not the person she represents to play against society."
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