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

Ellen DeGeneres wrote a letter to her staff promising changes after Warner Bros. conducts an internal investigation on claims of workplace misconduct

By Cydney Contreras Jul 30, 2020 10:50 PMTags

Ellen DeGeneres has addressed her show's staff after reports emerged of multiple workplace complaints. 

In a letter obtained by E! News, the syndicated talk show host explained that she was disappointed to learn of the accusations made against members of her staff. "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," DeGeneres wrote.

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

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's Home Burglarized

DeGeneres then acknowledged that her "success," which includes 30 Emmy awards, 20 People's Choice Awards and more, would not have been possible "without all of your contributions." She said, "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that."

For this reason, she stated that she and Warner Bros. are working together to determine the next steps to "correct the issues" they found through an internal investigation. 

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

YouTube / The Ellen DeGeneres Show

It was previously alleged that the show's executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, were the individuals accused of workplace misconduct, and not DeGeneres herself. They said in their own statement at the time, "For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us."

This assertion was seemingly confirmed by DeGeneres, who wrote in her letter that "people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am." She added, "That has to stop."

"As 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. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me," she concluded her letter, adding that she's grateful people felt "safe" enough to come forward with their experiences. "Again, I'm so sorry to anyone who didn't have that experience. If not for COVID, I'd have done this in person, and I can't wait to be back on our stage and see you all then."

In a statement to E! News, Warner Bros. affirmed their commitment to addressing the accusations of workplace misconduct, which were determined through interviews conducted with current and former staff members. "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 in part. "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."

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