Three producers 'part ways' with The Ellen DeGeneres show amid toxic workplace complaints

The producers have exited amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace at The Ellen DeGeneres Show that harboured misbehavior including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks

The Associated Press August 18, 2020 09:32:47 IST
Three producers 'part ways' with The Ellen DeGeneres show amid toxic workplace complaints

Three producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have exited amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harboured misbehavior including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.

Executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have “parted ways” with the long-running daytime series, a spokesperson for producer Warner Bros said in a statement Monday.

An internal company investigation of claims about the show was prompted by a BuzzFeed News report in July based on 36 interviews with ex-staffers, who complained about or said they witnessed improper and unfair treatment.

Three producers part ways with The Ellen DeGeneres show amid toxic workplace complaints

Ellen DeGeneres. Image from Twitter

Most of the allegations were tied to executive producers and senior managers, including Glavin, Leman, and Norman, BuzzFeed News said. The people making the claims against them were not identified.

A representative for Leman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Representatives for Glavin and Norman couldn’t immediately be found.

In statements to BuzzFeed News after the 30 July story was published online, Leman denied “any kind of sexual impropriety” and Norman said he categorically denied the accusations.

DeGeneres informed staff of the shakeup Monday in a video conference call, according to Variety, which first reported the development. She said she found claims about the show’s environment to be “heartbreaking,” the trade publication said, citing unidentified sources.

The comedian and host had sent a memo to her staff after last month’s BuzzFeed article, recalling her early promise of ensuring a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect.” Something changed, she said, “and for that, I am sorry.”

The show debuted in 2003.

In a separate July statement, Warner Bros said parent company WarnerMedia’s investigation revealed what it called “some flaws in the show’s daily management.”

Although not all of the allegations were corroborated, the studio said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”

No details were specified at the time, and Warner Bros had no further comment Monday beyond confirming the producers’ departures.

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