The Ellen DeGeneres Show Producers Accused of Sexual Misconduct by Former Employees

Warner Bros. previously announced they were conducting an internal investigation on claims of workplace misconduct at Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show.

By Mike Vulpo 31 Jul, 2020 9:54 PMTags

Former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show continue to come forward and describe their experiences working on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show.

On Thursday evening, BuzzFeed News published a new investigation, in which dozens of former show employees anonymously claimed executive producers engaged in sexual misconduct and harassment. 

According to the publication, nearly a dozen former employees said it was common for one producer (whose name E! News will not share) to make sexually explicit comments in the office. This producer went on to deny the claims made in BuzzFeed's article.

"BuzzFeed's filled with false claims that misrepresent me, my actions and all that I stand for. I categorically deny any kind of sexual impropriety," the producer's statement to E! News said in part. "I'm horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense."

"I have always aimed to treat everyone on the staff with kindness, inclusivity and respect," the producer continued. "In my whole time on the show, to my knowledge, I've never had a single HR or inter-personal complaint made about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be published."

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Ellen DeGeneres Breaks Silence on Workplace Complaints in Letter to Her Staff

Warner Bros. had no comment on Buzzfeed's latest investigation.

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

In the article, dozens of former employees claimed a separate producer (whose name E! News will not share) led with intimidation and fear on a daily basis. E! News has reached out to the producer for comment and has not heard back. 

Following BuzzFeed's latest report, a source who used to work on the show told E! News, "I did not see anything out of the norm. There were definitely inappropriate things said. I wasn't ever offended. I never felt any malice."

"I don't really have anything dramatic or outstanding in my time there," the source continued. "Having to stay after all the executive producers left for the day, often times they were just shooting the s--t until after 8 p.m, people getting yelled at because white boards weren't done properly, that kind of stuff but not abusive."

Looking back, the source added, "Inappropriate things were said that in this climate you can't say now." E! News has reached out to the show for comment. 

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Former Ellen DeGeneres Show Employees Claim They Were Subjected to ''Toxic Work Environment''

BuzzFeed's latest investigation was published the same day Ellen wrote a letter to her staff promising changes.

YouTube / The Ellen DeGeneres Show

"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. For that, I am sorry," Ellen wrote in part. "Anyone who knows me knows it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show."

"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," Ellen continued. "That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again." 

Back on July 16, BuzzFeed News published accounts from current and former staff members who alleged they were subjected to a "toxic work environment" on the set. 

In a previous statement, Warner Bros. affirmed their commitment to addressing any accusations of workplace misconduct.

"It was important to both Warner Bros. and Ellen that as many people as possible attached to the program could be heard. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world," the statement read. "And though not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show's day-to-day management. We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them."

They concluded, "We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show."

The Ellen DeGeneres Show remains on a pre-scheduled summer hiatus.

—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua