Executives from show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television sent a memo to staffers last week saying they have engaged WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third party firm, who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set.
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News reported one former Black employee – who worked on the show for 18 months – was confused for another Black employee.
The staff member alleged one of the main writers on the show joked with her:
I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here.
This same employee claimed she brought up issues of race behind the scenes of the show and was subsequently nicknamed the “PC police”.
While another former staff member claimed they were fired after taking medical leave following a suicide attempt.
After nearly a year of working on the TV show, the employee took a month off to check into a mental health facility.
But when they returned from leave, they were told their “position had been eliminated”. They said:
You'd think that if someone just tried to kill themselves, you don’t want to add any more stress to their lives.
At the time, Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner made a joint statement to BuzzFeed News.
Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment.
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.
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.
Ellen DeGeneres herself has not publicly addressed the allegations.
indy100 reached out to The Ellen DeGeneres show for comment.