“The workplace environment of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is the subject of an investigation by WarnerMedia, several media outlets reported Monday.
Executives from Telepictures, which produce the syndicated television show, and distributor Warner Bros. Television sent a memo to staff members last week, saying they would interview current and former employees about their experiences on the set, Variety reported.
The program has been a staple of daytime television since 2003, The New York Times reported.
The memo was sent by Telepictures Executive Vice President Donna Redier Linsk and WBTV vice president of human resources Donna Hancock Husband, according to Variety.
The move comes after a BuzzFeed story on July 16 that alleged “an overall toxic work culture” that included accusations of racism and unjust termination, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That followed an April report by Variety that examined the treatment of legacy crew members during the coronavirus lockdown. Several staff members alleged they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days and were subjected to favoritism by executive producers, E! Online reported.
Ellen DeGeneres, 62, was never accused of any of the alleged misconduct by any of the staff members, the website reported.
Warner Bros. Television and a representative for DeGeneres declined comment, the Times reported.
In the BuzzFeed story, former employees blamed three of the show’s executive producers, Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner.
The three executives released a joint statement to BuzzFeed.
“We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us,” the group said. “For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has earned more than 171 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and 61 wins, including four for outstanding talk show and seven for outstanding talk show entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The talk show averages roughly 2.5 million daily viewers, the website reported.