Ellen DeGeneres apologises to staff following workplace misconduct allegations

DeGeneres has apologised to her employees amid accusations of misconduct
DeGeneres has apologised to her employees amid accusations of misconduct - (Copyright SIPA USA/PA Images)
17:16pm, Fri 31 Jul 2020
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Ellen DeGeneres has apologised to staff who work on her TV chat show following allegations of workplace misconduct.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which began in 2003, is accused of creating a toxic work environment. The allegations began with a black employee telling BuzzFeed this month they had experienced racism and intimidation on set.

In a memo sent by DeGeneres, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, she said: “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. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.

“My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. 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. I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. 

"As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or—worse—disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”

WarnerMedia has said this week they will make staffing changes following the international investigation.

In a statement, they said: “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.”

When the accusations were made public, a statement was released by executives on the show saying they were 'heartbroken’.

“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment," the statement read.

"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. 

"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 realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”

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