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WarnerMedia to investigate 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' after claims surface of a 'toxic work culture'



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WarnerMedia has launched an internal investigation into "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" following numerous accusations of hostile workplace conditions on the award-winning daytime television program, Variety reported Monday.

Sources reportedly told Variety that executives from Warner Bros. Television and production company Telepictures sent a memo to employees last week announcing the forthcoming investigation, which is to be conducted by WarnerMedia's employee relations group and a third-party firm.

One source said that both WarnerMedia and the unnamed third-party firm underscored their commitment to ensuring a workplace environment where employees can thrive in the memo.

As a part of the investigation, representatives from two companies will interview both current and former staff members about their experiences on the show, the New York Times reported.

The investigation comes on the heels of an unflattering report published by BuzzFeed News describing a "toxic work culture" on the show. In the report, one current and 10 former employees spoke anonymously about experiences with "racism, fear, and intimidation" while working there.

"That 'be kind' bullshit only happens when the cameras are on. It's all for show," one former employee said. "I know they give money to people and help them out, but it's for show."

Most of the employees reportedly blamed the show's executive producers and managers for the culture, but unflattering rumors about show host Ellen DeGeneres have circulated for a while.

After comedian Kevin T. Porter started a Twitter thread in March asking people to share "the most insane stories you've heard about Ellen being mean," the thread blew up with thousands of replies.

The show's executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner replied, saying they were taking the accusations "very seriously."

"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," the group said in a joint statement.

"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."

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is currently on a summer hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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