The Ellen DeGeneres Show has found itself at the center of controversy after several former and current staffers alleged that there was a toxic work environment on the program. In light of these allegations, three top producers — Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman — were fired from the show. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed News reported that executives at The Ellen DeGeneres Show actually knew about these allegations years ago.
The publication reported that one current and one former employee filed a complaint with an industry union in 2018 that alleged gender discrimination, including that top producers made sexist remarks. Buzzfeed News did not name the industry union at the request of both of the sources. The union did not respond to the publication's request for comment. A spokesperson for Warner Bros., the distributor for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, did confirm that there was a 2018 complaint. They added that "there is nothing new or noteworthy about this issue." The spokesperson continued, "It was investigated by an outside investigator and resolved with no merit to claims of gender discrimination. As previously stated, we are committed to changing the things that need to change and moving forward in a constructive and positive way."
As previously mentioned, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has fired Glavin, Leman, and Norman in light of the allegations surrounding the show. All three of those producers were named in a July 30 article published by Buzzfeed News in which former and current staffers alleged that they experienced intimidation and racism in the form of microaggressions on the set of the talk show. Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt will continue to serve as executive producers of the series with host Ellen DeGeneres at the helm. Additionally, the show's resident DJ, Stephen' tWitch' Boss, will be brought on as an executive producer.
DeGeneres reportedly sent out a memo to the staff of the show in which she acknowledged the allegations and apologized for what allegedly took place behind-the-scenes. "I'm so so sorry for what this has become. I've left this to be a well-oiled machine, and I realize it's not a machine…its human beings," her message read, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I apologize for anyone who's feelings I've hurt. I'm not perfect. I'm multi-layered and I learn from my mistakes. I care about each and every one of you. I'm grateful for each and every one of you." Season 18 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is set to premiere on Sept. 14.