Ellen DeGeneres has written a letter apologising to staff on her talk show after complaints of a “toxic workplace culture”.
Earlier this week, parent company WarnerMedia launched an investigation into The Ellen Show. It came after former staffers made allegations of a culture of fear, intimidation and even racism in the workplace.
In the letter, Ellen apologises and says the claims are “the opposite” of what she hoped for the show.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting [the show] would be a place of happiness,” she writes.
“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.
“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything. [I’ve] relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done.
“Clearly some didn’t. That will now change. I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
Ellen DeGeneres feels ‘awful’ if any staff felt ‘disregarded’
Ellen DeGeneres wrote in the letter she would have “done this in person” if not for the coronavirus.
She said she is “someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am.”
“I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or worse, disregarded,” she wrote.
“To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”
She said she was “so sorry” to anyone who “had not loved” working on the show.
“I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow,” she said.
“It’s important to me and to Warner Bros that everyone [with] something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
“I’m so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world.
“I want everyone at home to love our show. I want everyone who makes it to love working on it.”
Ten employees speak out against ‘toxic workplace’ at Ellen’s talk show
There were no specific allegations of wrongdoing against Ellen herself in a Buzzfeed report earlier this month.
However one of the 10 employees who spoke out claimed they were told not to talk to her if they saw her in the building.
“That ‘be kind’ bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one former staffer said.
The staffers alleged they were bullied or fired for attending family funerals or taking sick leave while on the show.
One female ex-staffer claimed she walked off the job after comments about her race.
Another told Buzzfeed Ellen’s name is on the show and she “needs to be more involved”.
“If [Ellen] wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” they said.
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