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Daytime talk star and comedian Ellen DeGeneres is considering leaving her show as claims of a hostile work environment rise amid accusations from other stars, reports said on Friday.
DeGeneres, 62, has reportedly been in discussions with top executives from Warner Bros. and Telepictures, the company that produces her weekday show, informing them she may be ready to jump out, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
The report comes after DeGeneres apologized to staffers in an email last month, which was panned by employees associated with the show.
“She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,” one source told the Daily Mail.
As complaints about the behind-the-scenes culture at the show began to mount, DeGeneres addressed staffers on Thursday.
“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,” she wrote in a memo.
“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 continued.
Insisting that reports about the cultural toxicity surrounding the show have been noted, DeGeneres said things “will now change,” as she further pledged she’s “committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
But the Daily Mail source disputed that.
“The truth is she knew what was going on, it’s her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun – but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame,” the source continued.
“Don’t think for a minute anything she has said in that apology means anything. She created and then enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long,” one staffer told the Daily Mail on condition of anonymity.
“If anyone had come to her or those three vile [executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner] to complain, they would’ve been fired,” the source added, criticizing DeGeneres’ attempt to shift blame to the show’s producers.
“Inside Telepictures we’ve had enough of her. She is a phony who does not practice what she preaches,” a source from the company told the news outlet.
“The behavior of her show executives has been appalling, but [Ellen] is no better. In fact, she is the worst. It’s outrageous that she is trying to pretend that this is all a shock to her. The fish rots from the head, and Ellen is the head,” the Telepictures source added.
The source further claimed that DeGeneres “hates coming to work” and that she “struggles to be nice to people and has utter contempt for her audience.”
Some stars backed up the complaints.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” star Brad Garrett, 60, said it was “common knowledge” that people were mistreated on the set of DeGeneres’ show, adding that she was as much at fault as the producers, USA Today reported.
“Sorry, but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge,” he wrote on Twitter.
Actress Lea Thompson, 59, who starred in the “Back to the Future” series, corroborated Garrett’s claim.
True story. It is.
— Lea Thompson (@LeaKThompson) July 31, 2020
“True story. It is,” she wrote.
In a subsequent statement to USA Today, the show’s producers noted: “’The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world. And though 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. We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them.”
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