Ellen DeGeneres TV producers respond to staff allegations

'We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience,' the executives said

Ellen DeGeneres TV producers respond to staff allegations

Executive producers of daytime talk show ‘Ellen’ have been accused of promoting racism and a toxic workplace culture by a group of former and current employees. The staffers alleged the image of comedian Ellen DeGeneres as a kind and benevolent TV host is “all for show”.

Reports of employees feeling “distressed and outraged” over management inaction at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have been circulating in the media since April.

Now, more employees are coming forward about what they believe to be a “toxic work environment,” alleging producers intimidate staff and perpetuate a culture of favouritism while discriminating against people who speak out. Black employees, in particular, claim to have experienced “microaggressions” at work, as BuzzFeed News first reported.

Read more: Bullied at work? Here's how your boss sees you

One Black former employee who supposedly raised concerns about representation and race was allegedly dubbed “the PC [politically correct] police” by her co-workers.

Staff members were also purportedly told never to speak to DeGeneres if they saw her in the office.

The allegations appear to run counter to DeGeneres’ “Be kind” mantra on the show.

In response to the accusations, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner issued a joint statement expressing their commitment to “do better” and create an “open, safe and inclusive work environment”.

Read more: How to identify a toxic workplace

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

News of management allegedly mistreating staff first made headlines in April when employees told Variety that they did not receive any clear communication about their pay and work schedule, or any inquiries about their well-being, from the executives during the pandemic. The crew eventually faced a 60% pay reduction despite the show continuing production.

‘Ellen’ reportedly suffered a 14% drop in ratings after earlier accusations came to light.

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