Preparing for the end? Staffers who work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show believe that the long-running daytime series could meet its demise as sexual misconduct allegations surface.
“Staffers are texting and calling each other freaking out as they fear Ellen [DeGeneres] will quit or that the show will be cancelled,” an insider exclusively tells Us Weekly. “The show feels done. It’s going to be very hard to turn this around.”
On Thursday, July 30, a new report from BuzzFeed News contained allegations from dozens of former Ellen employees claiming sexual misconduct commonly occurred behind-the-scenes. The show’s top executive producers Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin and Jonathan Norman were all accused of perpetuating the behavior.
Leman allegedly made sexual advances toward staffers lower on the totem pole, Glavin was accused of inappropriately touching female staffers and a former male employee claimed that Norman tried to groom him in hopes of performing oral sex on him.
Both Leman and Norman denied all allegations. Glavin has yet to publicly address the claims but is reportedly preparing to step down from his longtime role on the daytime series, according to Variety.
Prior to the sexual misconduct claims, BuzzFeed News released a different exposé that contained 10 former employees’ allegations describing the toxic work culture offscreen on DeGeneres’ show. The ex-staffers claimed to have experienced racism, fear and intimidation while working on the production.
In the wake of the report’s release, Warner Bros. announced their plans to launch an internal investigation to further explore the claims made. DeGeneres, 62, also wrote an apologetic letter to her employees.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect,” she wrote in a note obtained by Us on Thursday, July 30. “Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
DeGeneres admitted that she was not “able to stay on top of everything” as her show grew in popularity. She then also claimed to have “relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done,” noting that “clearly some didn’t.”
The Finding Dory star said that she’s “learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop,” adding: “As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered in 2003.