Warner Media Starts Probe into The Ellen DeGeneres Show Amid 'Toxic Workplace' Charges

An article published in Buzzfeed outlined allegations related to racism, unjust termination and overall toxic work culture at the show.

Days after allegations of a 'toxic workplace culture' rattled The Ellen DeGeneres Show, an investigation has been launched by WarnerMedia. The media giant has hired a third-party organization to conducted interviews with the former and current employees of the show.

The daytime celebrity talk show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres made its debut in 2003. Currently into its seventeenth season, the show has won 61 Emmy Awards so far with around 2.5 million views every day.

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres/ Instagram

Memo Sent to the Employees

The move comes days after an article was published in Buzzfeed, outlining the allegations related to racism, unjust termination and an overall toxic work culture based on bullying and fear among the employees of the show.

According to Variety, Telepictures, which produces the daytime series, and Warner Bros, in-charge of distribution, have emailed a memo to the employees of the show stating that they're working with a third-party firm.

Telepictures executive vice president Donna Redier Linsk and WBTV vice president of human resources Donna Hancock Husband had sent the memo. "Both companies underscored their commitment to providing an environment where employees can flourish," a source familiar with the document revealed to the outlet.

The WarnerMedia's employee relations group would also be interviewing present and former workers about their experiences on the set of the day-time show, reported Variety.

Earlier in a series of allegations, several staffers and guests on the day-time show had called Ellen DeGeneres as being mean and rude. According to The Sun, a lot of former employees and guests had claimed that Ellen is a completely different person off camera.

Previously, in one of her videos, YouTuber NikkieTutorials warned fans "don't meet your idols" after she claimed Ellen was "distant and cold" during a show appearance. Tom Majercak, Ellen's former bodyguard called her 'cold' and 'demeaning'

Racism, Fear and Intimidation

In its report, Buzzfeed revealed that several former employees were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals. The report also highlights the racist behavior on the show, including jokes about mistaking two Black female employees with the same hairstyle, as well as criticism of statements allegedly made to another staffer by executive producer Ed Glavin.

The unnamed former employees also stated that they were instructed by their managers to not speak directly to Ellen if they saw her at the office. A black employee told the outlet 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."

In a joint statement issued to Buzzfeed, Ed Glavin, fellow executive producers Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly said: "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," the statement added.