When The Ellen DeGeneres Show returns next month, host Ellen DeGeneres will likely address the toxic workplace scandal that enveloped her show over the summer with fans. DeGeneres said she "will be talking" to her viewers about the situation when asked about it as she left a restaurant on Saturday. The scandal resulted in three executive producers being fired and two apologies to staffers from DeGeneres.
DeGeneres was spotted leaving a restaurant in Santa Barbara with a friend when a Daily Mail videographer asked her about the firings. "I will be talking to my fans," DeGeneres said as she walked away. The comment came after a week of significant changes to her long-running daytime show following reports of a "toxic" workplace allowed to grow behind the scenes.
On Monday, WarnerMedia, the parent company of show producer Telepictures, announced executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were fired. All three were mentioned in a July 30 BuzzFeed News report on allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by the producers. According to former staffers, Leman allegedly solicited sexual favors backstage. Galvin was accused of being "handsy" with women and inappropriately touching female staffers. Norman was accused of "grooming" a male employee and trying to perform oral sex on him. Leman and Norman denied the allegations against them.
DeGeneres first apologized to her staff and vowed to make changes after WarnerMedia launched its toxic workplace investigation. After the firings, she addressed her staff again, acknowledging that she is "not perfect" and will "learn from my mistakes." She apologized for letting the show become a "well-oiled machine" instead of understanding that it is run by "human beings."
In the fallout of the firings, several other changes took place. Staffers were given five paid days off to use however they wished, paid time for doctors' appointments and family matters and their birthdays off. DJ Stephen "tWitch" Boss was promoted to co-executive producer. The Season 18 premiere was also postponed from Sept. 9 to Sept. 14.
DeGeneres has also been at the center of speculation and rumors during the scandal. This week, a claim surfaced that there was a rule for staffers to avoid eye contact with DeGeneres. She reportedly denied this in a Zoom call with staff on Monday. "It's crazy, just not true, I don't know how it started," DeGeneres reportedly said. "[It's] not who I am." Past moments from the show have come under increased scrutiny, including a 2009 tweet in which she wrote, "I made one of my employees cry like a baby on today's show. Honestly, it felt good."