In a video call with the Ellen staff on Monday, Ellen DeGeneres reportedly announced the dismissal of three top executive producers for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Who have been allegedly accused of blatant sexual harassment as well as using fear and intimidation to run the show. She also addressed the lack of diversity and inclusion among the staff. Before announcing that DJ tWitch has been promoted to executive producer.
The video conference call on Monday with the show’s crew addressed the ousting of executive producers, Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer, Jonathan Norman. A spokesperson for Warner Bros., who produces the show, confirmed that senior producers Glavin, Leman, and Norman have “parted ways” with the daytime talk show.
The BuzzFeed article that started the Investigation
Accusations of a hostile working environment at the popular talk show were first made by former staff members in a BuzzFeed article in July. Warner Bros responded by saying it was investigating and that several staffing changes were being implemented. Reports also included criticism about the host, DeGeneres, who is claimed to be mean-spirited. This prompted a social media campaign calling for her replacement. However, a host of celebrities, including Katy Perry, Kevin Hart, Alec Baldwin and Ashton Kutcher have spoken out in support of the chat show host.
The departures have been expected ever since Glavin, Leman and Norman were cited in the article, that brought to light, allegations of misconduct, harassment and questionable behavior on the set of the show. The trio was suspended in the wake of the BuzzFeed story and have since been terminated.
Allegations made against Glavin
BuzzFeed News reported that five former employees claimed Glavin touched them in a way that made them uncomfortable. By rubbing their shoulders and back, as well as placing his hand around their lower waist. Dozens of former employees also said Glavin “had a reputation for being handsy with women,” especially in the control room. 47 former employees additionally revealed that Glavin led with intimidation and fear on a daily basis. Five of them also said they saw Glavin use a button at his desk to remotely shut his office door “as an intimidation tactic” during reprimands.
“100% categorically denying these allegations”
In a prior statement, Leman said he categorically denied “any kind of sexual impropriety.” Norman also said he was “100% categorically denying these allegations.” Glavin however, has not responded to requests for comment. Sources close to the situation said Leman and Glavin are also out as EPs on other DeGeneres-produced shows. Including NBC’s “Ellen’s Game of Games.” Staffers were also told that the show has pushed back its 18th season debut by a few days, to Sept. 14.
“Ellen” veterans Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt will remain at the show as executive producers alongside host, DeGeneres. Connelly, Lassner and Westervelt have been with the show since its inception in 2003.
Ellen addresses disturbing allegations
The news was delivered to “Ellen” staffers Monday afternoon during a staff meeting in which DeGeneres spoke via a video conference call. DeGeneres was emotional to the point of tears, and apologetic as she addressed more than 200 staffers. According to multiple sources, DeGeneres told the staff she was “not perfect.” And she realized that in the effort for the show to run as a “well-oiled machine,” sometimes leaders were not as sensitive to “human beings” as they should have been. She added that reading disturbing allegations about the atmosphere on the show was “heartbreaking.”
DeGeneres even went so far as to note that the show has at times alienated staffers and even guests, by shifting shooting timetables on short notice. She vowed to stick to agreed-upon timetables to make the production process smoother for all.
Addressing the Internal Investigation and Promotion of tWitch as co-executive producer
Connelly and Lassner also took the moment to address the results of the studio’s internal investigation that was sparked by the flurry of reports. After interviewing more than 100 people connected to the show, the probe found that there was no evidence of “systemic” racism on the show. Although there was an acknowledgment regarding the lack of diversity and inclusion. DeGeneres and others vowed that everyone on staff, including Ellen, will participate in diversity and inclusion workshops. The host then announced that the show’s resident DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, was promoted to co-executive producer.
“This will be the best season we’ve ever had”
The daytime TV host also responded to the persistent rumors that staffers and guests were told not to address her or even look her in the eye if they encountered the host on the set or in the offices on the Warner Bros. lot. She called that “crazy” and “not true.” Ellen also described herself as an ‘introvert,’ and apologized to anyone who felt “disregarded.” DeGeneres went on to repeatedly emphasize that she was “proud” of the show’s success. As well as its ability to spin off additional programs such as “Ellen’s Game of Games.” She also expressed gratitude to staffers, many of whom have been with her for the entire run. She insisted the show would “come back strong” next month. “This will be the best season we’ve ever had,” DeGeneres claimed.
Sources said DeGeneres and other other producers did not take questions from staffers, who are still working remotely. DeGeneres is said to have vowed to meet in small groups with staffers once the health threat of the pandemic has passed.