Comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres’ outgoing, friendly public persona has taken a hit over the last year, but particularly in the past few weeks as allegations of a toxic workplace environment from current and past employees have elicited calls for change from the top down.
Some in the industry, like “Everybody Loves Raymond” actor Brad Garrett, say the news that Ellen’s kindness doesn’t extend off-camera is no surprise to anyone who has worked with her in the past. Both the show and its parent company Warner Brothers have since conducted internal investigations into the show’s workplace environment, and Ellen herself issued an apology to her crew in a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. In a separate statement, the Warner Bros. studio said the investigation’s “primary findings” revealed what it called some flaws in the show’s daily management. DeGeneres’ memo and the probe by the studio’s parent company followed a BuzzFeed News report in which one current and 10 former show employees complained about issues including being fired after taking medical or bereavement leave. One worker said she left because of comments about her race. Most of the complaints were tied to executive producers and senior managers, BuzzFeed News said, but one ex-employee said DeGeneres need to take more responsibility for the work environment. The people making the allegations were not identified.
Today on AirTalk, we want to know what you think. Is cancelling the show or removing Degeneres as the host the only remedy, or would you prefer to see her and the show take an opportunity to make changes both personal and professional? What specific changes would be required to create meaningful change in the workplace culture at Ellen? Join our live conversation by calling 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press