The Ellen DeGeneres Show has found itself amid controversy recently. In late July, Warner Bros. and Telepictures launched an investigation into the workplace environment on the show after several current and former staffers raised their concerns about some of the toxic behavior that they allegedly encountered during their employment. Even though the show is at the center of this controversy, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is due to come back in September.
On Monday, Variety reported that many of The Ellen DeGeneres Show's senior creatives and producers are back at work this week to prepare for the show's September return. The other 140 members of the show's personnel are said to be coming back in stages over the next few weeks. Season 18 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is set to premiere on Sept. 9. Another show that Ellen DeGeneres hosts, Game of Games, will reportedly head back into production during the week of Aug. 24. However, as of right now, it's unclear whether the shows will be able to return with a studio audience given the state of the coronavirus pandemic.
In late July, Variety reported that executives from both show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. sent out a letter to staffers during the week of July 20 to let them know that they were launching an investigation into the workplace environment on DeGeneres' talk show. They noted that they sought out the help of a third-party firm and WBTV-owner WarnerMedia's employee relations group to investigate this matter. They will conduct interviews with former and current staffers about their experiences on set. Over the past several months, those connected to The Ellen DeGeneres Show have claimed that there is a toxic workplace environment on set. In mid-July, Buzzfeed News published a report that included interviews from one current and several former staffers on the show. Those individuals, who spoke out under the condition of anonymity, claimed that they experienced racism in the form of microaggressions and intimidation.
In response to these claims, three executive producers of the show — Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner — told E! News that they are taking these claims "very seriously." (Variety noted that Glavin is expected to exit his role as one of the show's executive producers come Season 18.) They said, "We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It's not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us. For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."