Ellen’s talk show ‘under investigation’
The Ellen DeGeneres show is reportedly under investigation after numerous accusations by former staffers that it is a "toxic" work environment.
Variety reports that The Ellen Show has "has become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia" following the reports of workplace issues on the series.
Execs reportedly sent a memo to staff last week saying they have engaged an employee relations group and a third party firm, "who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set," as per Variety.
Earlier this month, a bombshell Buzzfeed report collated stories from 10 former and one current Ellen employee - all speaking anonymously - described a "toxic work environment" with a culture of "racism, fear and intimidation".
"That 'be kind' bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show," one former employee is quoted as saying.
Former employees alleged to Buzzfeed that they'd been fired for taking medical leave, attending family funerals, and one for posting a selfie in the office on her Instagram Stories.
Others claimed that raising complaints about offensive or racist comments from colleagues saw them labelled as "PC police".
In a statement to Buzzfeed, Ellen executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner insisted that "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."
In the wake of the report, one leading brand management expert claimed DeGeneres' empire is in a rapid descent into "brand suicide."
"Authenticity is king with celebrity brands and these continued leaks are lacerating her credibility and mangling her capacity to continue to try to be positioned at a high moral ground," said Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants.
The tell-all is just the latest in a long line of PR disasters for Ellen, who has suffered through awkward celebrity interviews and a viral Twitter thread labelling her the "meanest person alive" this year.
The comedian also came under fire from staff members of The Ellen DeGeneres Show for failing to communicate the status of their jobs and pay amid the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, beauty influencer Nikkie de Jager, who appeared on her talk show in January, claimed DeGeneres was particularly "cold" and gave preferential treatment to A-list guests.
DeGeneres' alleged bad reputation was further supported by Tom Majercak, a former bodyguard who protected DeGeneres at the 2014 Oscars. In an interview with Fox News, Majercak branded the host as "sly" and "demeaning".
Perhaps the moment the tide turned for Ellen: an intensely awkward interview with actress Dakota Johnson in November last year, in which Johnson publicly called Ellen out for not coming to her birthday party.
Originally published as Ellen's talk show 'under investigation'