'Ellen DeGeneres Show' Producer Andy Lassner Reacts to Toxic Workplace Controversy: 'It's Been a Couple of Rough Months'

A producer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Andy Lassner, finally opened up on the show's controversy this weekend. In a sincere Instagram post, 53-year-old Lassner admitted that is has been a "couple of rough months" for himself and others on the show. However, as other producers leave the show, Lassner assured followers that he will not.

Lassner kept it light-hearted in his Instagram video, saying with a casual tone that he has "been dealing with some stuff, you know? You might have read about it." Still, Lassner kept it positive, adding: "it's when we go through these things, I guess, that we learn the most about ourselves, and maybe even some growth... But to tell you it hasn't been rough would be a lie, and I've always been honest with you. It's been rough. But I'm back."

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I’ve missed my people❤️

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Lassner finished the video by saying: "I love you guys; I miss you and I'll talk to you soon." Most of his commenters responded in kind, thanking Lassner for weathering the storm. However, some questioned whether the worst was really behind him and the rest of The Ellen Show.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show came under fire this summer beginning when over a dozen former employees spoke to BuzzFeed News for a report on the allegedly "toxic" work environment. They claimed that mean-spirited jokes, sexual harassment and racism were prevalent in the studio and that DeGeneres enabled some of this behavior. Moreover, they claimed that DeGeneres' "be kind" mantra is insincere.

Since then, everyone from crew members to former guests have come out with their own tales about the show, many painting a similar picture. While others have been more positive, critics have suggested that DeGeneres likely treats guests much differently than she treats her employees.

Still, pervasive rumors that the show would be canceled or replaced with another daytime talk show have proven untrue so far. NBC executives have stood behind DeGeneres even while conducting an investigation on her show. DeGeneres is also obligated to continue hosting the show for at least two more years under her current contract.


DeGeneres has apologized publicly and said that she was surprised and heartbroken to hear the stories about how people felt while working on her show. She has not addressed the rumors that she will be retiring early as soon as her contract allows.

The staff returned to work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday — most of them working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. New episodes begin on Wednesday, Sept. 9 on NBC.