The Ellen DeGeneres Show is officially the subject of an investigation by WarnerMedia after several individuals raised their concerns about the workplace environment on the program. As Variety reported on Monday, executives from both the show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. sent a memo to staffers last week detailing that they have sought out the help of a third-party firm and WBTV-owner WarnerMedia's employee relations group to investigate the array of issues that some have raised about the show. In response to this news, a Warner Bros. Television spokesperson declined to comment on Variety's story. Additionally, a representative for The Ellen DeGeneres Show did not immediately respond to the publication's request for comment.
WarnerMedia's employee relations group and the third party firm will reportedly work together to investigate the situation regarding The Ellen DeGeneres Show. They will interview former and current members of the staff about their experiences on set. It is not clear what third party consultant will conduct these interviews. Although, both of the companies that will be investigating this matter stressed that they want to make sure that the environment on the set of the talk show is one in which employees can "flourish," according to a source who is familiar with the memo that was sent out to staffers.
The news of this investigation comes amidst reports about the show's work environment. In April, Variety reported that many crew members on the program were frustrated over their treatment from top producers during the coronavirus pandemic. During this health crisis, the core crew of the show reportedly received no information or written communication regarding the status of their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their health from producers for over a month. Additionally, they were reportedly unhappy with the show's decision to hire an outside, non-union tech company to help host Ellen DeGeneres film the talk show from her home. These allegations even led some to believe that the show could be canceled. However, Telepictures confirmed that there was no truth to the rumors that the show was going to be canceled.
In mid-July, even more allegations about the working environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show emerged. Buzzfeed News published a report that included interviews from one current and ten former employees on the show. The individuals, who spoke out under the condition of anonymity, claimed that they experienced intimidation and fear behind-the-scenes. They also alleged that they experienced racism on set in the form of microaggressions. In light of these allegations, three executive producers on the show — Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner — told E! News that they are taking these claims "very seriously."
The producers also released a full statement, which read, "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."