Dozens of employees of The Ellen Show have accused senior producers of sexual misconduct and harassment, after Ellen DeGeneres earlier issued an apology to staff.
Ellen hours earlier apologised in a letter over claims the show had a “toxic workplace culture” for employees.
However Buzzfeed has published new allegations from 36 former staff members. Many centre on senior executives Keith Leman and producer Ed Glavin.
The employees alleged Leman, head writer and executive producer, groped and propositioned lower-level male employees.
One ex-staffer said Leman solicited him for oral sex at a company party in 2013. Another claimed they separately saw Leman grab a production assistant’s penis.
A dozen of the former staffers also claimed Leman made sexually explicit comments in the office.
Leman said he categorically denied “any kind of sexual impropriety” and called the claims “malicious and misleading”.
Other staff members alleged they were “uncomfortably” touched by producer Ed Glavin, Buzzfeed reported.
Glavin allegedly “had a reputation for being handsy with women,” particularly in the control room.
Five former employees told Buzzfeed Glavin would place his hand around co-workers’ lower waists.
They said Glavin was also had an explosive temper and accused him of “leading with intimidation and fear on a daily basis.”
Co-executive producer Jonathan Norman told Buzzfeed he “100% categorically denies” a claim he attempted oral sex on a male co-worker.
Ellen Show staffer claims Ellen DeGeneres ‘doesn’t want to hear it’
Production company Warner Bros this week launched an investigation after earlier claims of a culture “racism, fear and intimidation” on the show.
A spokesperson said the probe’s “primary findings” indicated “some deficiencies” in the show’s day-to-day operations.
“We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised,” the statement read.
“[We] are taking the first steps to implement them.”
Just hours earlier, Ellen DeGeneres told staff in a letter she takes responsibility for the show.
But she said she’d “come to rely on others” for day-to-day operations. She also committed to change to “correct the issues”.
Ellen said she wants the show to be a “place of happiness” and is “disappointed to learn that this has not been the case”.
According to Buzzfeed, opinion is split among former employees as to whether Ellen knew what was going on.
One told the outlet she “knows but doesn’t want to hear it”. Others claimed bosses “insulate her” from behind-the-scenes behaviour.
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