Will it be enough to save DeGeneres or her show?
Ellen DeGeneres has announced a dramatic overhaul over her popular daytime talk show, announcing the instant dismissal of three executive producers and that an internal investigation into a ‘toxic workplace culture’ is now underway.
DeGeneres made the announcement in a video call with staff that three producers had been fired amid allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment.
Warner Brothers confirmed the show had “parted ways” with executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres told staff she was “so sorry for what this has become” in reference to the growing controversy around the toxic culture on the set of Ellen.
The dismissals of Glavin, Leman and Norman is separate from the accusations that DeGeneres herself was bullying employees although some former employees have alleged that DeGeneres was aware of their conduct and chose not to take action.
The sackings follow a Buzzfeed story published in late July that allege all three had engaged in inappropriate behaviour.
The investigation alleges that Glavin, as well as head writer and executive producer Leman and co-executive producer Norman, had engaged in sexual misconduct with employees in the workplace which involved “excessive touching” Leman asking an employee to perform a sexual act on him at an office party, in addition to groping production assistants and an accusation that Norman had groomed an employee before attempting to perform sexual acts on him.
Employees allege that many of these accusations went unaddressed by Ellen and those close to her, for many years, resulting in a high staff turnover on the show.
DeGeneres denies being aware of any of the accusations although many current and former employees have expressed scepticism of that claim and annoyance that the talk show host has yet to address claims made in regard to her own behaviour.
DeGeneres has been accused of bullying and firing staff for the slightest of infringements, creating a “culture of fear.”
“It’s not okay to claim ignorance. When the faces of your staff change so much from one season to the next, something is not okay,” one of the former employees says. “Also, she didn’t address any of the allegations made against her.”