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Ellen DeGeneres has been dealt a further blow as the programme she hosts, named The Ellen Degeneres Show, is said to be under investigation.
The 62 year old comedian’s talkshow, which has been going for around 17 years, is said to be under scrutiny by WarnerMedia after the show was accused of being a “toxic work environment” by employees.
A number of former staffers are said to have recently came forward and said they experienced “racism, fear and intimidation” during their time on the set.
And now, according to Variety, production company Telepictures, which produces the series, and Warner Bros, which is in charge of distribution, sent a memo to employees informing them they are working with a third party firm and WarnerMedia’s employee relations group to interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set.
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The reported investigation into the show hosted by Ellen, who was previously branded the meanest person alive, comes after ten former staffers and one current employee accused the programme of “racism, fear and intimidation”.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, the anonymous staffers told of how they were instructed by their direct managers not to speak to comedian and host Ellen if they saw her around the office.
While another former worker claimed she was “fed up” with comments about her race and decided to walk away from her job.
A third staffer told the publication: “That ‘be kind’ bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show.
“I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”
Most of the workers are said to have blamed the executive producers and other senior managers for “day-to-day toxicity” but one said Ellen “really needs to take more responsibility” for the workplace environment as it is her name on the show.
They said: “If she 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.”
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Meanwhile, the executive producers of the show presented by Ellen, who was slammed for rating employees’ babies in one episode, said they take the complaints “very seriously”.
They said: “Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment,.
“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 realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”
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