Ellen DeGeneres' Apology for Toxic Work Environment Sparks Backlash
Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show continues to be a topic of discussion following the host's response to allegations of a toxic work environment.
Earlier this month, one current and several former employees of the show alleged that things behind the scenes were not as much about being "kind to one another." According to a report from Buzzfeed News, these anonymous employees recounted various experiences including racist interactions and microaggressions.
Since this news broke, further accusations of sexual misconduct were made against more than one of the show's executive producers. In a call to action, one of the anonymous former employees stated in the original report, "If [Ellen DeGeneres] wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what's going on. I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, 'Things are going great, everybody's happy,' and she just believes that, but it's her responsibility to go beyond that."
In an effort to address this, the host released her own apology in the form of a staff letter, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. In the letter, DeGeneres writes, "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. 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."
As the letter continues, DeGeneres adds, "My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues.
"I'm also 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. 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," DeGeneres concludes. "To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me."
Following this apology, DeGeneres is receiving backlash for her words, and one such individual voicing his disapproval is actor Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond, Single Parents). Garrett tweeted in response to DeGeneres' apology: "Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge." The actor hasn't added any responses since this statement, but it's a clear rebuttal to the ongoing story.
Following allegations of misconduct, Ellen executive producer Ed Galvin has departed the talk show, which has produced at-home episodes amid the ongoing pandemic.