Horrifying development in Ellen show saga

 

Dozens of employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have come forward in a new bombshell report, alleging sexual harassment and misconduct by some of the show's top executive producers.

Many of the allegations centre upon head writer and executive producer Keith Leman, who has been accused of groping and propositioning male staff members.

Others allege they were inappropriately touched by producer Ed Glavin, who is reportedly parting ways with The Ellen Show.

"Even though I was being abused [at work] constantly, Ed putting his arm around you in the control room was like the nicest experience you had all day, as messed up as that sounds," one female former employee said.

Co-executive producer Jonathan Norman was accused of attempted to perform oral sex on one male employee, an allegation Norman is "100% categorically denying." The other producers named have not yet responded to the allegations.

In total, Buzzfeeds spoke to 47 current and former The Ellen Show employees, with these disturbing new allegations adding to the claims made in an earlier Buzzfeed report published two weeks ago.

This new report comes just hours after Ellen broke her silence about the mounting allegations surrounding her show in an apology letter to staff that was also published inThe Hollywood Reporter.

Ellen's language in the letter suggests she wasn't fully aware of the alleged workplace culture at the talk show she's hosted for more than 2700 episodes over the past 17 years. She opens by saying she wanted the show to be a "place of happiness" and is "disappointed to learn that this has not been the case".

"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," she says.

"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."

But today, many on social media have accused Ellen of passing the buck and deflecting responsibility onto others.

Employees speaking anonymously in today's Buzzfeed report expressed disbelief that DeGeneres could've been unaware of what was allegedly going on.

"She knows," one former employee said. "She knows s**t goes on, but also she doesn't want to hear it." However, other former workers said they doubted DeGeneres would have been aware as top staff "insulate" her from what happens on set.

Variety reported this week that The Ellen DeGeneres Show "has become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia" following the reports of workplace issues on the series.

Executives reportedly sent a memo to staff last week saying they have engaged an employee relations group and a third party firm, "who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set," said Variety.

Buzzfeed's earlier report collated stories from 10 former and one currenEllent employee - all speaking anonymously - who had described a "toxic work environment" with a culture of "racism, fear and intimidation".

"That 'be kind' bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show," one former employee is quoted as saying.

 

ELLEN'S LETTER TO STAFF

Ellen DeGeneres has penned a letter to the staff of her talk show in the wake of allegations of a toxic workplace culture.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the note to crew is part of an effort to change the culture behind the scenes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which will reportedly also see one of the show's producers ousted.

In her note, as published by THR, DeGeneres apologises for what's gone on, insisting that steps will be taken to "correct the issues" going forward.

"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," she writes.

DeGeneres opens the letter with an apology, saying that what has happened was "the opposite" of what she intended for the show.

 

Ellen DeGeneres has been hosting her show from home.
Ellen DeGeneres has been hosting her show from home.


"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," she writes.

Elsewhere in the letter, DeGeneres says she's "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".

The talk show queen said that, had it not been for coronavirus, she would have "done this in person", and said she was "so sorry" to anyone who had not loved working on the show.

News of the letter comes as Ellen today posted an Instagram birthday greeting to a producer on her show, Jeannie Klisiewicz, declaring: "You're one of a kind. I know you made your dad proud. I love you."

 

But the post attracted dozens of comments referencing the much-reported recent allegations about the show.

"Is she one of the workers being bullied?" one person commented.

"I'm thinking this is one that didn't complain about Ellen," wrote another.

"Someone is trying to show that she 'loves her employees' after all of the accusations," said another.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reportedly under investigation after numerous accusations by former staffers that it is a "toxic" work environment.

Variety reported this week that the show has "has become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia" following the reports of workplace issues on the series.

Executives reportedly sent a memo to staff last week saying they have engaged an employee relations group and a third party firm, "who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set," said Variety.

Earlier this month, a bombshell Buzzfeed report collated stories from 10 former and one current Ellen employee - all speaking anonymously - described a "toxic work environment" with a culture of "racism, fear and intimidation".

"That 'be kind' bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show," one former employee is quoted as saying.

 

Ellen talking to fans from her house on Instagram this week.
Ellen talking to fans from her house on Instagram this week.


Former employees alleged to Buzzfeed that they'd been fired for taking medical leave, attending family funerals, and one for posting a selfie in the office on her Instagram Stories.

Others claimed that raising complaints about offensive or racist comments from colleagues saw them labelled as "PC police".

In a statement to Buzzfeed, Ellen executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner insisted that "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."

The tell-all is just the latest in a long line of PR disasters for Ellen, who has suffered through awkward celebrity interviews and a viral Twitter thread labelling her the "meanest person alive" this year.

 

It’s been a horror year of bad press for the star.
It’s been a horror year of bad press for the star.

The comedian also came under fire from staff members of The Ellen DeGeneres Show for failing to communicate the status of their jobs and pay amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, beauty influencer Nikkie de Jager, who appeared on her talk show in January, claimed DeGeneres was particularly "cold" and gave preferential treatment to A-list guests.

DeGeneres' alleged bad reputation was further supported by Tom Majercak, a former bodyguard who protected DeGeneres at the 2014 Oscars. In an interview with Fox News, Majercak branded the host as "sly" and "demeaning".

Perhaps the moment the tide turned for Ellen - an intensely awkward interview with actress Dakota Johnson in November last year, in which Johnson publicly called Ellen out for not coming to her birthday party.

And just yesterday, a brand new horror story from closer to home: A former Today show boss revealed what went on behind the scenes when Richard Wilkins interviewed Ellen DeGeneres in 2013.

 

Originally published as Ellen's emotional letter: 'I'm so sorry'



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