Top producers ‘part ways’ with Ellen DeGeneres show following toxic workplace allegations

Three top producers from Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show have “parted ways” with the series following allegations of a toxic workplace environment.

A spokesperson for producer Warner Bros said in a statement that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, as well as co-executive producer Jonathan Norman, had left the long-running daytime show.

It comes after a BuzzFeed News report based on 36 interviews with former staff members on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Some said they had experienced or witnessed improper and unfair treatment – prompting an internal company investigation that found “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 05, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California
Image:DeGeneres’ wife Portia de Rossi has spoken out in support of the star

Allegations included claims of sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.

DeGeneres, who issued an apology in a memo to workers following the article, informed staff of the producers’ exit in a video conference call on Monday, according to US entertainment site Variety, which first reported the news.

In her memo, the star said she was “committed to ensuring this does not happen again” and also referenced her experiences of coming out as gay in 1997 amid huge media interest.

“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,” she said. “To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”

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Following the reports, there were calls for the star to stand down from the show. Her wife, Portia de Rossi, spoke out in support of the presenter, posting on Instagram to say “I stand by Ellen”, while other stars, including singer Katy Perry, also backed her on social media.

Most of the allegations were tied to executive producers and senior managers, including Glavin, Leman and Norman, BuzzFeed News said. The people making the claims against them were not identified.

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A representative for Leman did not immediately respond to a request for comment made by the AP news agency. Representatives for Glavin and Norman could not immediately be found, the agency said.

In statements to BuzzFeed News after the story was published, Leman denied “any kind of sexual impropriety” and Norman said he categorically denied the accusations.

Although not all of the allegations were corroborated, Warner Bros said following its review that it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.

Warner Bros confirmed the producers’ departures on Monday but gave no further comment.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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