‘I am sorry': Ellen DeGeneres apologises to her talk show staff after complaints of mistreatment
Ellen DeGeneres sent an emotional message to the staff of her television talk show of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday (Jul 30), saying she was taking steps to improve the culture on set following accusations of a hostile working environment.
The host of the popular, long-running daytime talk show, which has aired in syndication since 2003, apologized in a letter to staffers as an internal investigation of worker complaints conducted by parent company WarnerMedia comes to a close. Warner Bros. Television, which produces The Ellen DeGeneres Show, reviewed complaints that ranged from bullying to racism among production staff.
Warner Bros. Television said in a statement that although "not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management."
It said several staffing changes and other measures were being implemented, but did not give details.
The allegations, which were made by several former staff members in a BuzzFeed article earlier in July, painted a radically different view of life behind the cameras from the upbeat and positive vibe presented by DeGeneres on the show.
"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," DeGeneres wrote in an email to staff that was made available to reporters.
"Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show," she added.
DeGeneres, whose show has won dozens of awards in its 17 years on the air, also referred to criticism that has been leveled at her personally in recent media reports.
"I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop," she added.
She said she was glad that her production team was "finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others."
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Aurora Ellis)