The Ellen DeGeneres Show's resident DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, has been named a co-executive producer at the daytime talk show in the wake of allegations of a "toxic" workplace environment, two individuals familiar with the decision told Variety. Boss' promotion reportedly came during an emotional staff meeting with DeGeneres on Monday, during which she addressed current and former staff concerns about harassment and racism.
During that meeting, Variety reported the comedian shared a desire to "come back strong" for the upcoming 18th season of her talk show and commit herself and the show's leadership to diversity. Boss had already been helpful when it came to this role, DeGeneres expressed, and with his new role, he will have more influence in programming and the working culture on set.
Multiple sources told Variety that DeGeneres broke down in tears as she told staff she was "not perfect" and had realized that while trying to get the show to run like a "well-oiled machine," sometimes leaders were not as sensitive to staff as "human beings." She added that reading allegations about the "toxic" workplace on the show was "heartbreaking."
Boss opened up to Us Weekly about the allegations made in the Buzzfeed News investigation earlier this month. "We can’t speak too much legally about it, but I’ll say this, there’s been love," the emcee and dancer told the outlet. "Obviously there’s some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there’s been love. I’ll just leave it at that until there’s a time where we can address more publicly. There’s been love and there will continue to be love."
This news comes after Warner Bros. parted ways with three top producers at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman. Veteran producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt will remain at the show as executive producers alongside DeGeneres. Connelly, Lassner and Westervelt have been with the show since its first season in 2003.
Following the initial report, WarnerMedia launched an investigation into the workplace environment and DeGeneres sent an apology letter to her staff. "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," she wrote in a memo sent to staff on July 30. "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."
The Finding Dory star continued, "I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. 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."