Three senior producers have been ousted from The Ellen DeGeneres Show in response to both past and present staff allegations of “racism and intimidation” on set.
According to Variety, a Warner Bros. spokeswoman confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have “parted ways” with the show. Multiple sources added they were also removed from all other DeGeneres-produced shows, including NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games. Long-staying members Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt will stay on as executive producers.
Program distributor Warner Bros. have also launched a hotline for complaints and hired a dedicated HR representative for the show.
The news was delivered to over 200 Ellen staffers working remotely via a video conference call yesterday (August 17). A reportedly tearful DeGeneres told staff she was not perfect, and in the endeavours to make the show run like a “well-oiled machine”, she realised leaders were sometimes not as sensitive to “human beings” as they should be.
In the meeting, Connelly and Lassner also addressed the internal investigation launched by WarnerMedia and an anonymous third party firm in late July.
After interviewing more than 100 people connected to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the investigation reportedly found no evidence of systemic racism on set. However, investigators acknowledged more work was needed to promote diversity and inclusion. In response, DeGeneres noted all staff – including herself – would take part in diversity and inclusion workshops.
DeGeneres also responded to rumours that staff members and guests were told not to address her or look her in the eye when encountered on site. She said the allegations were crazy and untrue, and described herself as an introvert. She then apologised to anyone who felt disregarded, as according to multiple sources.
Despite this, DeGeneres repeatedly insisted she was proud of the show’s success and its spin-off series, Ellen’s Game of Games.
Earlier this month, Katy Perry defended DeGeneres over the allegations, acknowledging she “only ever had positive takeaways” from her time on set.
”I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought to the world through her platform for decades,” Perry tweeted.
“Sending you love & a hug, friend.”