The popular daytime talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has fired three executive producers from the show. Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman have been let go by Warner Bros. – after BuzzFeed and Variety reported on allegations of the show’s toxic workplace culture involving racial insensitivity and sexual misconduct, among other problems in the workplace.
The remaining executive producers – Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt – who have been with the program since its start in 2003, will continue working on the show. Although Warner Bros. has confirmed that the three executive producers fired were involved in the accusations brought forward, Leman’s lawyer has released a statement saying the producer was being “unduly blamed.”
Leman’s lawyer, Michael Plonsker said, “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 by Ellen – is shocking.” He further added, “Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment.”
DeGeneres addressed the staff personally via a conference call on August 17 to deliver the news. Staff members from the show that were present for the meeting said that Ellen explained she was “not perfect” and realized that she was not as sensitive to her staff as she should have been. She described the allegations as “heartbreaking” and vowed to improve the production process for all staff members.
During the meeting, executive producers went on to explain the findings of the internal investigation conducted by the studio following the allegations. After interviewing more than 100 people connected to the show, the investigation found no proof of systemic racism occurring in the workplace or the show’s production. However, the producers did acknowledge that more efforts are needed toward creating a more diverse show. Ellen has promised that everyone working for the show will begin taking diversity and inclusion workshops, and she announced that the show’s DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss was also promoted to co-executive producer.
Ellen also responded to rumors about her alleged ignorant and rude attitude toward staff and audience members once the cameras are off, labeling them as “crazy” and “not true” and saying that she believes these rumors are flying because she is an “introvert.” Multiple sources stated that DeGeneres has apologized to anyone who felt “disregarded” by her during their time on the show.
Although the rumors surrounding Ellen seem to be piling up, the 62-year-old emphasized how “proud” she is of the show’s success and its additional programs like “Ellen’s Game of Games.” She promised fans that the show will “come back strong” next month, and that it will be “the best season” they have ever had.
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