Celebrity

Ellen DeGeneres Promises Change In Response To Toxic Workplace Allegations

"I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

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Following the news that an internal investigation will be conducted for her eponymous talk show, comedian Ellen DeGeneres addressed allegations of a toxic workplace environment in an internal letter sent to her staff. In the memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter on July 30, DeGeneres cited a commitment to “fairness and justice” after 11 former and current employees alleged toxic behavior — including racist microaggressions and termination after medical leave — on the set of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in a BuzzFeed report published on July 16. In her letter, DeGeneres accepted responsibility for the allegations and maintained that steps would be taken to “correct the issues.”

“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that [the show] would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” DeGeneres wrote. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry.” She added that as the crew has “grown exponentially,” she hasn’t “been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done" — but "clearly, some didn't." She added, "That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

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“I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow,” DeGeneres continued in part. “It's important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.” She added that she was “proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world,” and apologized to those who “didn’t have that experience.” She concluded, “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.”

DeGeneres’ memo comes after executive producers Andy Lassner, Ed Glavin, and Mary Connelly issued a joint statement to BuzzFeed that said they were taking the allegations “very seriously.” It read, in part, "We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.” Asserting that the “day to day responsibility” of the show is “completely on us,” the statement continued, “It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.” Warner Bro.'s internal investigation, made public on July 27, is still pending.