The “Ellen DeGeneres Show” has recently become the subject of an internal investigation by Warner Media after a large number of workplace-related issues on the long-running daytime show surfaced, according to Variety.
Executives of producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. worked together to draft a memo. Warner Bros. Television sent this memo to staff last week stating that they have engaged WBTV-owner Warner Bros’ employee-relationship group with another third party firm, who will interview the current and former staff about their experiences on the set, according to sources.
A spokesperson of Warner Bros. Television has recently declined to comment anything on this issue. A representative of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has said nothing in reply to the question asked by Variety.
The memo arrived on the context of various reports made on the working conditions of the show in recent times. In April, Variety reported on the treatment process of legacy crew members during the Coronavirus Lockdown. In mid-July, BuzzFeed came up with a report alleging racism and intimidation on the show.
The memo came from the table of Telepictures’ Executive Vice President Donna Redier Linsk and WBTV Vice President of Human Resources Donna Hancock Husband.
The name of the third-party firm still has not been confirmed. Both companies are focusing on creating an environment where employees can flourish, one of the individuals working on the document has said.
BuzzFeed’s story has covered a spectrum of accused racist behavior — from microaggression to jokes on two Black female employees with almost the same hairstyle. It also included the criticism of a statement allegedly made to another staff member by Executive Producer Ed Glavin. Glavin and fellow Executive Producers Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly talked about the allegation in a joint statement published to BuzzFeed.
“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,” the group said.
“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,” they added.
The DeGeneres’ production crew showed outrage and distress at the poor communication and at being told to expect less compensation because of the coronavirus lockdown which was on-going at that time. The series also took non-union crew on board to host the quarantined series from the home of the host. The crew had gotten its full pay prior to the publication of Variety’s report.
A spokesperson of Warner Bros. acknowledged the fact that there could have been a better line of communication but also mentioned the complication due to the chaos caused by the coronavirus crisis. The Warner Brothers has also been undercurrent in recent years to run proper investigations on all the claims of workplace hostility.
“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,” DeGeneres said in the internal memo obtained by Variety.