For all of the overt sadistic glee that Ellen DeGeneres takes in psychologically toying with people in her capacity as host on Ellen’s Game of Games, the longtime television personality insists that disrespect and intimidation are “the opposite of what I believe.” The Hollywood Reporter obtained a letter that DeGeneres distributed to her crew on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in response to the now widely publicized claims of a workplace rife with “racism, fear and intimidation.”
In the letter, DeGeneres apologizes to employees who have been “treated unfairly, not equal — or worse — disregarded.” DeGeneres blames any toxic behavior from senior producers on her absence as a boss, writing that “people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop.” She references the internal investigation by WarnerMedia and herself into the workplace culture, and ensures that “we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues.” The Hollywood Reporter adds that, according to two sources, “executive producer Ed Glavin — one of the show’s three EPs, and the one at the center of many of the nastier claims — is among those who will be let go” after the internal investigation. One source claimed that “DeGeneres was largely kept shielded from Glavin’s day-to-day handling or mishandling of the staff.” You can read DeGeneres’s full letter below.
Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. 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. 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.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. 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. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.
It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then.
Stay safe and healthy.