Ellen DeGeneres apologises for “toxic work environment” as show returns to screens

"Things happened here that should never have happened"

Ellen DeGeneres has addressed claims of a “toxic work environment” as her chat show returned to screens for a new series today (September 21).

Past and present staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show faced allegations of “racism and intimidation” on set back in July.

An internal investigation was launched by WarnerMedia and an anonymous third party firm later that month, and though the investigation reportedly found no evidence of systemic racism on set after interviewing more than 100 people connected to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, staff members and DeGeneres herself made a commitment to greater diversity in the future.

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“Things happened here that should never have happened,” DeGeneres said during a monologue at the start of the new series’ first episode.

“As you may have heard this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres added. “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people who were affected.

“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

Continuing her monologue, DeGeneres said she and her team have had “a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”

She added: “My intention is to always be the best person I can be, and if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that. If that’s ever the case, I’ve let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well.”

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Last month, The Ellen DeGeneres Show “parted ways” with three senior producers following the allegations of toxic behaviour.

A Warner Bros. spokeswoman confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have left the show. A report states that Warner Bros. have also launched a hotline for complaints and hired a dedicated HR representative for the show.

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