The Ellen DeGeneres Show's summer hiatus is coming to an end, meaning producers and staff are just getting back to work amid the toxic workplace environment allegations that have engulfed the longest-running daytime talk show still on the air. The producers reportedly are "addressing" the claims, according to Variety. WarnerMedia launched an investigation into the show last week, followed several allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct against senior producers.
Senior producers and members of the show's creative team are back to work this week, while the remaining 140 staffers will be "gradually returning" after their summer break. WarnerMedia's investigation is not finished yet, reports Variety. Series producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television has already told staff that parent company WarnerMedia's employee relations and third-party investigators will interview staffers about their experiences at the show.
The next season of Ellen will debut on Sept. 9. Ellen DeGeneres is also set to resume hosting NBC's Game of Games later this month. However, it has not been decided if the game show will have a studio audience yet due to the coronavirus pandemic. DeGeneres had been filming Ellen from her home since March when Hollywood production shut down.
Although there have been rumors about the workplace situation at Ellen for years, WarnerMedia did not start investigating the allegations until last week, in response to a July 16 BuzzFeed News report. DeGeneres also apologized in a letter to her staff on July 30, saying she will "correct" the issues. "As we've grown exponentially, I've 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. Some didn't," the Emmy winner wrote. "That will now change, and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
It is expected that executive producer Ed Glavin will be among the senior producers leaving after the investigation. Glavin is at the center of some of the more egregious claims. In another BuzzFeed News report, former staffers accused him of sexual harassment. Some former staffers said he had a "reputation for being handsy with women."
The show's current staffers are reportedly "freaking out" and are worried DeGeneres will quit of the show will be canceled, an insider told Us Weekly. "The show feels done. It's going to be very hard to turn this around." However, executive producer Andy Lassner told a fan on Twitter on July 30, "nobody is going off the air."
There was also some speculation that James Corden was on a shortlist to replace DeGeneres, but this is reportedly not the case. A Telepictures insider told the Daily Mail they are considering Sean Hayes, Kristen Bell, Melissa McCarthy, or Jennifer Aniston to host new talk shows. "All four have global name recognition and their own following," the source said. "They are all genuinely warm and could carry an Ellen-less show."