Brad Garrett is calling out Ellen DeGeneres' alleged mistreatment of her staff after the talk show host issued a lengthy apology to the behind-the-scenes crew. The Everybody Loves Raymond actor called the alleged toxic environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show "common knowledge" on Twitter after Variety obtained a copy of a memo sent by DeGeneres herself in which she said she was "glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention" and that they are "taking steps ... to correct" them via an internal investigation by WarnerMedia.
"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," the comedian began. "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."
Garrett, however, wrote on Twitter that DeGeneres was the one who is responsible for the workplace culture that has developed and that he personally knows people who were "treated horribly" by her. He did not detail any specific allegations, but PEOPLE noted has appeared as a guest on her show six times between 2004 and 2007.
DeGeneres continued in her apology that she wouldn't be able to call the show a success without all her staff. "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that," she wrote, adding that as the media empire has grown "exponentially," she has "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." The host wrote that "clearly some didn’t," and promised that these things "will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
DeGeneres also said she was learning that people who work with her were speaking on her behalf and "misrepresenting" who she is. "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," said DeGeneres. "It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice."
She concluded that she was "glad" the issues have now been brought to her attention and promised to do her part in making sure everyone can "learn and grow" from this. "It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so," she wrote. This speech would have been better done in public, but with COVID-19 shutting down production, DeGeneres said she would have to settle for apologizing in the memo. "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."