'The Ellen Degeneres Show' Fires Executive Producers Accused of Misconduct
The three executives had been suspended for several weeks.
UPDATE (August 18, 2020): The Ellen DeGeneres Show officially terminated three senior executive and co-executive producers — Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman — following allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment.
According to a report by Variety, DeGeneres announced the news during a video call on August 17. Multiple sources told the publication that the host acknowledged she is “not perfect,” and apologized to anyone who felt “disregarded,” responding to rumors that staff members were prohibited from looking her in the eye on set and on the Warner Bros. lot.
Producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, who have worked on the show since 2003 and will remain as executive producers, said that WarnerMedia’s internal investigation interviewed over 100 people and found no evidence of “systemic” racism on the show. However, they acknowledged that more work should be done to promote diversity — going forward, all staff, including DeGeneres herself, will partake in inclusion workshops. On a brighter note, Connelly and Lassner also announced that the show’s resident DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, was promoted to co-executive producer.
UPDATE (August 4, 2020): Shortly after Ellen DeGeneres issued a memo to her show’s staff denying knowledge of toxic workplace behavior, including microaggressions and sexual misconduct, a source is claiming that DeGeneres was aware of the mistreatment.
A report by The Daily Mail quotes an executive at Telepictures, which produces The Ellen DeGeneres Show, alleging that the host “knew what was going on, it’s her show.” The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that, “The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun, but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame.”
WarnerMedia is currently conducting an internal investigation of the show. Two days after Variety broke the news of the investigation, Buzzfeed published a report detailing rampant sexual misconduct and harassment by producers Jonathan Norman, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman and Ed Glavin. ”The behavior of her show executives has been appalling, but [Ellen] is no better. In fact, she is the worst,” The Daily Mail‘s source continued. “It’s outrageous that she is trying to pretend that this is all a shock to her. The fish rots from the head, and Ellen is the head.”
ORIGINAL STORY (July 28, 2020): The Ellen DeGeneres Show is under internal investigation by WarnerMedia following employee accounts of mistreatment. As reported by Variety, staffers of the daytime series received a memo stating that WarnerMedia’s employee relation group is working with a third party firm to interview current and former employees about their experiences working for the show.
In April, Variety reported that production executives failed to inform crew members about pay cuts and adjustments due to the coronavirus pandemic. After a month of silence, employees were told to expect a 60 percent pay reduction despite the fact that DeGeneres hired non-union crew members to execute a remote version of the show at her home in Los Angeles. The majority of staff were unaware of DeGeneres’ decision to continue production remotely until discovering social media posts announcing her return to television.
A separate report by Buzzfeed alleged racist workplace behavior. Executive Producers Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly issued a joint statement in response to these claims: “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 said. “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.”