The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reportedly being investigated following multiple allegations of its “toxic work environment”.
A number of staff on the daytime talk show recently spoke out anonymously to Buzzfeed about their experiences of intimidation and racism working on the show and in response WarnerMedia has launched an internal investigation.
Variety reported that executives from production company Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros Television sent a memo to employees last week informing them WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group has hired a third party firm to interview current and former staff about their experiences working on the show.
A Warner Bros. Television spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
The investigation follows Buzzfeed’s recent expose on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in which one current and 10 former employees spoke anonymously of their experiences.
The allegations included employees being fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days, facing microaggressions and a culture of bullying and favouritism by executive producers.
No specific claims were made against DeGeneres, although some staff claimed they were told not to speak to the TV presenter and comedian if she was in the office.
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner said in a statement, "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 realise, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
One woman who worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show claimed she experienced what she described as "microaggressions" and was "reprimanded" by Galvin for asking for a raise and suggesting staff members undergo diversity and inclusion training.
Another former employee said that after taking a one-month medical leave following a suicide attempt, they returned to work and were told their position was being eliminated.
The Ellen Degeneres Show has been on the air since 2013 and has won 61 Daytime Emmy Awards and 17 People's Choice Awards.
In 2019, DeGeneres, 62, confirmed that the program had been renewed for three more years.
Earlier this month Telepictures denied rumours the show was set to be cancelled.
DeGeneres’s former security guard Tom Majercak recently told Fox News the star was “very cold” and “false”, claiming that when he worked with her she didn’t engage at all beyond a “side glance out of her eye”.