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Three Producers Fired From ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ amid Claims of a Toxic Work Environment

Producers on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ have been fired amid ongoing rumours of a toxic work place environment.

CREDIT: Ronpaulrevolt / Flickr

Executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have been fired following allegations of sexual harassment. This comes about amid the rumours about a toxic work environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Leman denied ‘any kind of sexual impropriety,’, in a statement to Buzzfeed News. Norman has said that he is ‘100% categorically denying these allegations.’ Glavin is yet to comment.

Ellen DeGeneres announced the sacking over a zoom call with over 200 employees of the show. She said an internal investigation was underway following the allegations. 

Much controversy has emerged surrounding the 62-year-old presenter’s show, which aired in 2003 and has since won over 60 Emmy Awards. It was rumored that employees were told not to talk to her or look her in the eye. 

Former producer Neil Breed said, on radio station 4BC in July, that ‘producers called us aside and said, ‘Now, Neil, no one is to talk to Ellen. You don’t talk to her, you don’t approach her, you don’t look at her.’ 

First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres dance during a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” marking the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, in Burbank, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Buzzfeed News also recently released an article in which several former employees talked about the racism they had experienced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. One Black female employee said that she had experienced racist comments, behaviour, and ‘microaggressions’ during her year and a half working on the show

Celebrities such as Katy Perry and Kevin Hart have spoken out in support of DeGeneres, whilst the Everybody Loves Raymond actor Brad Garrett has backed claims against the show. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres told staff she was ‘so sorry for what this has become.’ She also said to the staff: ‘Please talk to me. Look me in the eye.’

The comedian and presenter of the show reportedly opened up about having ‘good days and bad days’ and that she was an ‘introvert’. She acknowledged that this came across as rude, before promising to work towards a better working environment with big changes. Supposedly, amongst these changes, was the firing of the three producers. 

Initially, DeGeneres distanced herself from claims of a toxic work environment, saying in an email to staff that she had been ‘misrepresented’ by ‘people who work with me and for me’. However, she later apologised to staff and said she was ‘glad the issues were brought to her attention’.

David McGuire, executive vice president of programming at Warner Brothers, said, in an email to staff, that the studio was ‘absolutely committed’ to ‘change and a new culture.’

“Many of you have spoken with Warner Media’s investigators, and we thank you for your honesty,” he added, “I hope this note is another way we are showing our commitment to do better.”

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