While many talk show hosts have been dealing with the new reality of having to film shows in self-quarantine for the last several months, Ellen DeGeneres has been dealing with an entirely different situation. Recently, former employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show came forward and alleged that producers created a toxic work environment. They also claimed that DeGeneres’ “be kind” motto did not extend to the staff. In response to this, an investigation is now reported to be underway.
WarnerMedia is currently conducting an internal investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show, according to Variety. The trade mentions that a memo was sent to Ellen staff members last week informing them that they have engaged WarnerMedia’s employee relations group. In addition, a third-party firm has also been engaged and is set to interview both current and former employees about their workplace experiences. As of right now, neither Warner Bros. Television nor The Ellen DeGeneres Show have provided comment.
The initial claims targeted at the producers of the show alleged that employees were fired for taking bereavement and medical leave and were subjected to racial discrimination, among other things. While these allegations weren’t aimed at DeGeneres herself, many staffers believe she should “take more responsibility” when it comes to creating positive workplace culture.
Since the initial report dropped, the show released a statement expressing disappointment that many employees felt mistreated and stressed that the powers that be were taking the allegations seriously.
Before these new allegations surfaced, The Ellen DeGeneres Show was already under fire for its alleged treatment of employees during the coronavirus lockdown. Those reports claimed the staff was kept in the dark about compensation for over a month. While the employees did eventually hear back from producers, they were apparently told that their salaries would be cut by 60%.
The report also mentioned that, at least at the time, only four of the program’s core crew members were working on the quarantine episodes. This was said to be due to the show contracting an audiovisual company for the remote episodes. Warner Bros. Television also addressed these claims in a statement, in which the company acknowledged the communication issues but claimed employees were being paid fairly.
The allegations against The Ellen DeGeneres Show arrive in the midst of other television studios dealing with their own behind-the-scenes issues. The most recent high-profile shake-up would be the firing of longtime CBS showrunner Peter Lenkov, who was reportedly let go for creating a toxic work environment for employees.
The investigations surrounding productions like The Ellen DeGeneres Show would seem to fall in line with the growing desire to maintain transparency and positivity on both TV and film sets. At this point, only time will tell how things pan out for Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running talk show.
Keep it here at CinemaBlend for more updates on the situation and more news from the world of TV and movies.