Those behind the scenes at The Ellen DeGeneres Show are facing a bit of a reckoning right now. While reports of current crew members being unhappy about their compensation (among other things) for the quarantine shows surfaced back in April, the real firestorm began in mid-July, when several former employees came out and said they felt it was a very toxic environment to work in, with many later making a lot of disturbing accusations related to sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault at the hands of some of the top creatives on the daytime talker. Now, Andy Lassner, who's one of the show's executive producers, is speaking out.
After an investigation of all of those claims, a couple of weeks ago Ellen ultimately fired executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and co-exective producer Jonathan Norman, who were all directly named as being behind the toxicity and / or sexual misconduct at the show. Now, after a five-week absence from Instagram, executive producer Andy Lassner has returned to the platform and addressed the controversies, telling his followers in a video:
I’m back. I’ve been away for a little bit, dealing with, you know, some stuff. You may have read about it. It’s been a couple of rough months. But it’s when we go through these things, I guess, that we learn the most about ourselves, and maybe even some growth. But to tell you it hasn’t been rough would be a lie, and I’ve always been honest with you. It’s been rough. But I’m back. . . . I love you guys; I miss you and I’ll talk to you soon
Andy Lassner, who will be recognizable to Ellen fans as the staffer who stars in the "Average Andy" segment, understandably had to take some time away to help deal with the crisis behind the scenes, but was pretty forthcoming in his return about how difficult this time has been. He also noted that he, at least, has already been able to learn a lot about himself as accusations have unfolded, and said it could lead to "some growth," which I certainly hope is true for everyone still in place at Ellen.
Even though several of Ellen DeGeneres' fans, family, and co-workers have stepped up to support the host publicly, one former employee has made his voice heard on the claims of toxicity in the workplace, and gone on record to confirm that he felt it while working there, as well. DJ Tony Okungbowa, who was on Ellen from 2003-2006, and then from 2007-2013, noted earlier this month that while he was "grateful for the opportunity" being on the daytime show gave him, he also experienced a view of the poor workplace behavior of senior staffers and will "stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward."
While there had been rumors of the show being booted off of the air soon due to all the backstage troubles, Andy Lassner said that fans have no reason to worry about that. So, we can all just hope that things will, indeed, be much better for employees at The Ellen DeGeneres Show going forward. For more on this and everything else in TV and movies, including what you can watch this fall, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.