The Ellen DeGeneres Show Fires 3 Producers Amid "Toxic" Work Environment Allegations

Ellen DeGeneres reportedly announced the firings of executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman in a video conference call with the show's staff.

By McKenna Aiello Aug 18, 2020 12:31 PMTags

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has officially cut ties with three senior members of its production staff. 

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. told E! News that executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman "parted ways" with the syndicated talk show. Their exit comes amid allegations of a "toxic work environment" at the daytime series.

E! News has also confirmed that Ellen DeGeneres' beloved show DJ, Stephen "tWitch" Boss, has been promoted to co-executive producer.

DeGeneres reportedly broke the news during a video conference call with her team on Monday, Aug. 17, an anonymous employee who was in the meeting told Buzzfeed News. Variety cited sources that claim DeGeneres was "emotional and apologetic" throughout today's video call, and described the claims made about the environment on set as "heartbreaking." 

Additionally, remaining executive producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner reportedly addressed the findings of an internal investigation launched by Warner Bros. following multiple complaints of a toxic work environment. According to Variety's sources, the investigation found no evidence of "systemic racism" on set, however, DeGeneres promised that she and the entire team will participate in diversity and inclusion training seminars. 

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On July 30, BuzzFeed News published a story in which dozens of former show employees anonymously claimed executive producers engaged in sexual misconduct and harassment.

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One producer (whose name E! News did not share) said in a statement at the time, "I categorically deny any kind of sexual impropriety. I'm horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense."

Two former employees, who spoke to E! News anonymously, previously offered differing perspectives of the work environment. According to one source, "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."

Another insider, however, provided a different perspective. "Behind the scenes, hours are long, employees are stressed and there's nobody in power to go to for support...People are coming forward in hopes current employees are treated better."

DeGeneres first broke her silence on the allegations in a letter sent to her staff and obtained by E! News on July 30. 

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

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

Similarly, Warner Bros. expressed their commitment to hearing the concerns of "as many people as possible attached" to The Ellen DeGeneres Show

A previous statement read, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world. 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."

In response to Leman's departure, his attorney tells E! News, "The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man – a popular figure and a creative force behind the 'Ellen' show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen – is shocking.  Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment."

E! News has reached out to Glavin and Norman but did not hear back.