THE Ellen DeGeneres show is reportedly under investigation following numerous accusations the set is a “toxic work environment” for staffers.
An internal investigation by parent company WarnerMedia is allegedly taking place after employees came forward about experiencing “racism, fear, and intimidation” while working on the talk show.
According to Variety, Telepictures – which produces the daytime series – and Warner Bros. – which is in charge of distribution – sent an e-mail to staffers last week to say they’re working with a third party firm.
Sources told the outlet in addition to the third party company, WarnerMedia’s employee relations group will also interview current and former workers about their experiences on set.
A rep for The Ellen DeGeneres Show did not immediately respond to The Sun’s request for comment.
The memo cited various media articles that have come out in recent months as cause for beginning the investigation.
Earlier this month, Ellen employees revealed bombshell accusations they suffered from “racism, fear, and intimidation” on set.
One current and 10 former crew members from the hit daytime series spoke to BuzzfeedNews about the “toxic work environment” but remained anonymous due to fear of retribution.
The outlet said some staff claimed to have been fired because they took medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals.
While others alleged they were instructed by their managers to not speak directly to the 62-year-old comedian if they saw her at the office.
For months, the host has come under fire for allegations that she is “mean.”
A Black woman, who once worked for Ellen, told the website that she experienced “racist comments, actions, and microaggressions” during her year and a half as an employee.
She also alleged that a main writer for the show told her at a company party: “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here.”
After a meeting where she said she was reprimanded by executive producer Ed Glavin for raising concerns, the woman left the show that day and never returned.
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner released a joint statement to Buzzfeed, claiming they take the stories “very seriously.”
“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment,” the letter read.
The trio continued: “We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience.
“It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.”
They concluded: “For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us.
“We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”
In April, Variety reported that crew members were outraged over the lack of communication about their pay amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Variety, a source said: “Radio silence from producers created anxiety among crew members who feared they would be furloughed and, in that case, would need to explore unemployment benefits.”
They added that bosses only “occasionally” answered their phone, and when Ellen returned to air on April 6 after a short hiatus most of the team only found out via social media.
They were left further disgruntled when they discovered that Ellen had hired a non-union company to help her produce the show from home – even though the normal crew have the same skills and are out of work.
YouTuber NikkieTutorials warned fans “don’t meet your idols” after she claimed Ellen was “distant and cold” during a show appearance.
Former bodyguard Tom Majercak also called the talk show host “cold” and “demeaning” after working with her at the 2014 Oscars, while an ex-employee of hers recently claimed her “nice” demeanor is fake.
When a comic asked people to send him their “real” stories about Ellen allegedly being “one of the meanest people,” he was flooded with responses.