Ellen Degeneres has apologised to staff after allegations of racism and intimidation

Daniella Scott
·4 min read
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

It has been a dramatic few weeks for The Ellen Show, with several allegations of workplace issues from current and former employees coming out in a recent Buzzfeed report, and now Ellen Degeneres has apologised to show staffers in a lengthy memo days after the news broke the the show was under internal investigation by WarnerMedia.

The 62-year old talkshow host opened the memo by saying, "Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. 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."

Earlier this week, Variety reported that a memo had been sent round to staffers on the show stating that an internal investigation would be taking place after a Buzzfeed report from mid July alleged racism and intimidation on set among other workplace issues.

Over the past few months there have been a number of additional allegations made about the workplace culture on the show, including a report from Variety which stated that at the beginning of coronavirus lockdown staff had received "no written communication about the status of their working hours, pay, or inquiries about their mental and physical health from producers for over a month".

Photo credit: Michael Rozman - Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Michael Rozman - Warner Bros.

The memo continued, "I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. 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. 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."

"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. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me. It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice."

Photo credit: Michael Rozman - Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Michael Rozman - Warner Bros.

"We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros., that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so."

She ended the memo by saying, "I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then. Stay safe and healthy. Love, Ellen."

Cosmopolitan UK has reached out to representatives from The Ellen Show for comment.

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