The Ellen DeGeneres Show is officially shaking things up in the wake of rampant allegations of bullying, racism, sexual misconduct and a toxic work environment.
According to Variety, three senior producers — executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have all been ousted from the Warner Bros. distributed talk show. The news was apparently delivered on Monday afternoon during a staff meeting in which DeGeneres spoke via a video conference call.
Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt who have worked on the show since its inception in 2003, will remain on.
In an email to staff obtained by BuzzFeed News, David McGuire, executive vice president of programming at Warner Bros., said, “We promised you change and a new culture, and we are absolutely committed to that.”
“Many of you have spoken with WarnerMedia’s investigators, and we thank you for your honesty. And though the investigation is nearing its conclusion, our willingness to confidentially hear your thoughts is ongoing,” he said.
The news will not come as a surprise to those following the scandal. On July 30, Glavin, Leman and Norman were called out in a story published by BuzzFeed News regarding allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation. One ex-employee said Leman asked him if he could give him a hand job or perform oral sex in a bathroom at a company party in 2013. Another said they separately saw Leman grab a production assistant’s penis.
The three producers were suspended in the fall out before their official firings.
In a prior statement to BuzzFeed News, Leman said he categorically denied “any kind of sexual impropriety.” Norman also said he was “100% categorically denying these allegations.”
As OK! previously reported, claims of outrageous and mean behavior have dogged the show for weeks and Warner Bros. was forced to launch an official investigation.
In a statement, the network said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”
The company said “several staffing changes” were identified in addition to “appropriate measures” that will be made to “address the issues that have been raised.”
In her own statement to staff, DeGeneres 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.
“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.”
But as OK! reported, the allegations range from the odd to the obscene.
One insider told OK! DeGeneres can’t stand gum and if someone near her has it in their mouth, “she freaks out.”
Viewers see the host’s cozy home during lockdown broadcasts, but a second source said things are not as warm as they look, particularly for her staff.
“She has no respect for those who literally clean up her mess. She’ll fire you on the spot if you upset her,” that source said.
A third source said the television host has little to no respect for minimum-wage production assistants who are considered totally expendable.
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