Ellen takes the heat

Lauren Runde, A&E Assistant Editor

Ellen DeGeneres, the 62 year old host of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”, took a hit to her reputation back in March when she was accused of creating a very toxic work environment.     

Kevin T. Porter, a comedian, started the controversy when he took to Twitter to say that Ellen was, “ . . . notoriously one of the meanest people alive.” Then in July, Buzzfeed released an interview with former and current employees of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” where they spoke out about the toxicity behind the scenes and how DeGeneres instilled fear and intimidation in her staff. Following the Buzzfeed report, DeGeneres’s show was placed under internal investigation by WarnerMedia. The investigation would include interviews and emails with current and former employees. Later in July, DeGeneres addressed the controversy. DeGeneres did not specifically address any allegations from her current and former staff, but did apologize to her employees and said that things would change.

DeGeneres also shifted some of the blame to her staff.

“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. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again,” DeGeneres said.  

Following the internal investigation, WarnerMedia stated that they found “deficiencies” within the show and as a result would make several staffing changes. More fuel was added to fire hours after DeGeneres’s public letter was released, when Buzzfeed released accounts from 36 different employees talking about harassment, sexual misconduct and assault from top producers. These employees specifically accused head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman, executive producer Ed Glavin and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman of misconduct in the workplace. Following these accusations, all three producers left the show. Along with employees, celebrities also took to social media to talk about their mistreatment on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”. 

One particular celebrity, Brad Garrett, the “Everybody Loves Raymond” actor who has appeared multiple times on the show, said he knows several people who have been mistreated on the show. There are several celebrities who are against DeGeneres, but there are also several celebrities on DeGeneres’s side such as Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Kevin Hart. 

Kevin Hart even took to Instagram to comment.

“She has treated my family and my team with love and respect from day 1,” Hart said. 

Most recently, DeGeneres started season 18 of her show and at the start of the first episode issued another apology. 

DeGeneres started off her apology by jokingly.

“How was everybody’s summer? Good? Yeah, mine was great. Super terrific,” DeGeneres said.  

Buzzfeed News was told that employees did not appreciate DeGeneres making light of their allegations of toxicity, racism, sexual harassment and misconduct with her sarcastic remarks. DeGeneres did follow this remark up with a closing statement.

“I learned that things happened here that should never have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” DeGeneres said. 

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is on NBC Network. Tune in to see what else is addressed this season.