An Explanation of the Ellen DeGeneres Show Controversy
Ellen DeGeneres has made a name for herself as a talk show host by focusing on the positive aspects of life, such as kindness and dancing. According to Variety, WarnerMedia has launched an internal investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s alleged hostile workplace atmosphere.
WBTV and Telepictures, the show’s production company and distributor, “issued a note to staffers…saying they have contacted WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third-party business,” Variety reported. There was no response from Warner Bros. Television or The Ellen DeGeneres Show when Variety reached out to them about the story.
A source close to production of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has confirmed to NBC News that Warner Media has launched an internal investigation into the show amid reports alleging a toxic work environment. @Miguelnbc has more. pic.twitter.com/fhYLrEqbwL
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 28, 2020
So how did this happen? Let’s take a closer look at each component.
There have been reports of problems at work.
According to a BuzzFeed News piece released in mid-July, present and past staff of the Ellen show have complained about being treated unfairly. (All of them requested anonymity.)
“That ‘be kind’ nonsense happens only when the cameras are on. “It’s all a charade,” a former employee told BuzzFeed. Although they offer money and help individuals, this is all all for show. Microaggressions and discriminatory insults, including comments on her box braids, were reported by a Black lady. She also claims that one of Ellen’s senior writers mistook her for another Black employee at a work party and remarked, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white folks that work here.”
DeGeneres was not the target of any of the claims leveled against her. “She needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” one of the employees said in the BuzzFeed story if she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title. As a result, she trusts the executive producers’ assurances that “everyone” is satisfied, which leads her to assume that “she must go above and beyond” what they tell her.
We have worked tirelessly for over two decades to build a secure, open, and inclusive work environment,” stated executive producers Andy Lassner and Ed Glavin and Mary Connelly in a joint statement to the media site. That even one member of our producing family has had a bad experience is really heartbreaking and upsetting to us. It’s not who we are or what we aspire to be, and it’s not Ellen’s mission for us.
The statement went on to say, “For the record, the Ellen show’s day-to-day duty is fully on us. All of this is important to us, as many people throughout the world are learning, and we are committed to doing better, and we will do better. “We take this extremely seriously.”
In addition, other former producers have come forward to tell their stories.
During the epidemic, there was also a salary dispute:
The coronavirus pandemic forced The Ellen DeGeneres Show to change how it was recorded, as did a lot of other American television productions.
“No written contact concerning the status of their working hours, remuneration, or enquiries about their mental and physical wellbeing from producers for over a month” was revealed by crew members in a Variety piece on April 16. Because she hired nonunion staff to record the show from her home, they were also allegedly unhappy about this.
Variety was informed by the studio at the time that the crew had been paid on time but had worked less hours than originally planned. According to a Warner Bros. Television spokesman, “Our executive producers, Telepictures are devoted to taking care of our personnel and crew.”
Social media has also been abuzz with rumors regarding Ellen DeGeneres’s conduct:
After Kevin T. Porter’s viral Twitter thread about Ellen DeGeneres not being as sweet as she appears in public, the rumors began to circulate in early March. Kindness is needed today more than ever. Tweeted: “You know, like Ellen Degeneres always talks about!” “She’s also well-known for being one of the world’s cruelest individuals. What are the most ridiculous stories you’ve ever heard about Ellen being mean? I’ll donate $2 to the @LAFoodBank for every one.
Allegations of sexual misbehavior have been resurfacing:
There were numerous charges against Kevin Leman’s conduct made by BuzzFeed News in an article released on July 30. (According to the source, they interviewed 36 people.)
Some of Leman’s ex-workers claim that the executive begged for oral sex with them in the restroom, while another claims that he grabbed the penis of a production assistant. Other women said they had been groped as well. There have been numerous reports that he would ask, “Are you the top or the bottom?” on a regular basis in the workplace.
As one former coworker put it to BuzzFeed News: “It’s just Kevin being Kevin. It wouldn’t be a big deal in front of 10 people. “If you’re the CEO of an organization, though, you don’t just get to touch me like that.
Leman issued a comment following the publication of the article. Starting as a P.A. more than 17 years ago, I’ve worked my way up to my current position at the Ellen Show.” As a lead writer, my job is to come up with jokes—and while we can occasionally push the boundaries, I’m appalled that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense,” it said.
Everyone on the crew has always been treated with kindness, inclusion, and respect because that is my personal goal. That this sort of vicious and false piece could be published is beyond my comprehension. I’ve never had a single HR or interpersonal complaint filed against me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this type of evil and misleading article could be published.”
Warner Bros. declined to comment on the fresh charges, stating that “an ongoing investigation” was to blame.
According to a leaked document, DeGeneres apologized to her employees:
People reports that the talk show presenter sent a memo to her team the day after the internal probe was launched. A copy of the message, according to the report, was obtained by PEOPLE.
“It’s me, Ellen. Hello, everyone!” First and foremost, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be a place of happiness, where no one will ever raise their voice and everyone will be treated with respect. Something had to have shifted, and I’m disappointed to learn that this hasn’t happened. So please accept my apologies for that.
The message reads, “Anyone who knows me knows it’s the exact reverse of what I believe and what I had wanted for our programme. “Without your support, I would not have achieved the kind of accomplishment I have. Everything we do is under my name, and I take full responsibility for it. We quickly launched an internal inquiry with Warner Bros, and we’re working together to fix the problems.
As we’ve developed, I’ve had to rely on people to complete their jobs as they knew I’d expect them to be done because I couldn’t keep up with everything myself. Some obviously didn’t. This will no longer be the case, and I will do all in my power to prevent it from happening again.
People who work with me and for me are misrepresenting my persona, and that has to stop, she added. In my own experience, I can empathize with folks who have been judged or treated unfairly, not equal, or dismissed because of who they are…. To think that any of you felt that way is heartbreaking to me. We’ve been avoiding the subject for far too long, but now we’re finally talking about it.
“Learn and evolve,” DeGeneres added, after expressing gratitude for the problems being raised.
“I am so proud of the work we do and the joy we all assist to spread around the world. I want everyone who watches our show to enjoy it, and I want the people who make it to enjoy it, too. Again, my deepest condolences to everyone who was deprived of that opportunity. Without COVID, I wouldn’t have been able to do this in person, and I can’t wait to see you all again when we return to the stage. Please take care of yourself and do not expose yourself to any danger. That’s all I can say,” she wrote.
According to reports, this is how Ellen DeGeneres feels about the situation:
A source tells Us Weekly that Ellen DeGeneres is “pissed that people have come forward to share these horrible things about her and feels betrayed,” according to the publication’s story. It is an honor to work for and be around her, the source maintains, even if “she knows she can be tough sometimes.” According to this insider, DeGeneres fears being “targeted” because of her fame.
“Crushed” by the allegations, according to a People story from August 5, the talk show host has vowed to “personally engage in making sure that those things are appropriately changed.” Sources say she wants to put on a wonderful show that makes people happy and content. That’s all she’s thinking about.”
When it comes to her wife, Portia de Rossi has her back.
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When DeGeneres announced she was divorcing the actor on August 3, he offered a message of support. “We’re here for you, and we’re listening.” As she captioned the “I Stand With Ellen” image, she expressed her gratitude to the viewers. While she didn’t go overboard with her hashtags, she did include a few notable ones: #stopbotattacks, #IStandByEllen, and #IstandbyEllenDeGeneres. So, just to be clear, in case you were wondering where she stands.
I don’t think Ellen DeGeneres is going anywhere!
As previously reported by NBC News, Ellen DeGeneres will return to anchor her talk show for an 18th season. Returning on September 9th.
DJ Tony Okungbowa has reunited with his old crew:
The discussion show’s DJ Tony entertained audiences for many years with his turntables. Despite the outpouring of support for DeGeneres from the entertainment community, he had a different take on the situation on Instagram.
“Hello, everyone,” he says. I’m praying for your safety at this tough time. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been getting a lot of phone calls lately, and I’d like to address the time I spent there, “he wrote. In the years 2003-2006, and 2007-2013, I worked as an on-air talent. Despite the fact that I am happy for the chance it provided me, I can’t help but support my former colleagues in their efforts to establish a healthier and more inclusive work atmosphere as the programme progresses.”
The show has lost three of its key producers:
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman have resigned as of Monday, August 17, following several allegations of a toxic work environment. Andy Lassner, Mary Connelly, and Derek Westervelt, along with DeGeneres herself, will remain on the show as executive producers, according to USA Today.
In a video conference call, Ellen DeGeneres reportedly apologized to her staff once more for her actions.
Talk show host informed staff she “wasn’t perfect,” says insider, according to People.
“As someone who is multifaceted and tries her best to be the best she can be while learning from her mistakes, she was quoted as saying. People have said that I was unkind, short, or impatient with them,” he says. I sincerely apologize to anyone I’ve offended in any manner.
Another insider claimed, “Ellen was emotional.” Making it better and making herself more accessible were two of her main priorities.” She said that she can be shy at times and expressed her apologies to anyone who had been offended by that. Ellen cares deeply about making sure this doesn’t happen again, so she’s pleased that they’re putting in place actual institutions and resources. Seeing everyone made her cry. “They’re my family.”
According to a source who talked to Variety, the company has implemented new employee benefits:
Employees would supposedly get “five paid days off to utilize at their option, birthdays off, and paid time for doctors appointments and family concerns,” according to a report. On Monday, August 17, senior producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner broke the news via a virtual town hall, according to the source. There are a few things I’m not sure about, but I’ll go ahead and accept them as “perks.”
Comedian “fellow comic” Sofia Vergara stands by Vergara.
In August, a video of Vergara’s appearance on Ellen’s show leaked again, further fueling the fire of discontent with the presenter. As DeGeneres and Vergara talk about their CoverGirl commercial, many on the internet speculate that Ellen was making fun of Vergara’s accent in the footage she shared. “They give her the hardest lines too, because we have to describe what’s in the CoverGirl makeup and she has such a hard time pronouncing any of the components,” DeGeneres adds in the footage.
Vergara, on the other hand, jumped to her friend’s rescue and tweeted a footage of it.
On August 21, Sofia Vergara tweeted, “Two comedians having fun with each other to entertain.” Because “I was always in on the joke,” “you guys never saw me as a victim”
Andy Lassner, the show’s executive producer, has broken his social media silence:
Lassner, a frequent guest on Ellen, avoided getting into the intricacies of the show’s dispute. Then who should I see?” “Oh, see. And Andy Lassner, “if it isn’t Andy Lassner.” He made the statement while posting a video to Instagram on August 31. “Yes, that’s correct. You are not seeing things. You can expect to see me around again soon. I had to take some time off to deal with—well, you know—stuff. It’s possible you’ve heard of it.
It’s been a hard few months, Lassner said. When we go through these things, I guess, we learn the most about ourselves and perhaps even some progress. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult, and I’m committed to being completely open and honest with you. These past few weeks have been a real struggle for me. But I’m here now.”
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During the season 18 opener, DeGeneres addressed the controversy head on. The 18th season of the Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered on September 21.
In her acceptance speech for the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards, DeGeneres acknowledged her “wonderful” team.
While accepting the award for Best Talk Show, she did this. Thanks a million times over from the bottom of my heart. This honor does not just go to me. ‘I’m accepting this award on behalf of my fantastic crew, my amazing employees,’ she remarked. Every single day, they show up, and they give 100% of themselves, 100 percent of the time.” “in most cases”.
I love them all, she went on to say. “That’s 250 people times 170 concerts a year times 18 years,” she said. Thank you for all you do every day to assist make that show the best that we can make it.”
“I know this honor comes from the people, and I say thank you to the people,” DeGeneres continued. I can’t express how appreciative I am and how much this means to me to all of my followers who have supported and stuck by me. Right now, I don’t have the energy to go into all of it. To put it back on the shelf, I’m going to use Lysol to clean it up.”