TV

“The Ellen Show” Sends Senior Producers Packing

"I’m so so sorry for what this has become."

Three senior producers at The Ellen Show have been shown the exit.

Executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman are leaving the syndicated talk show following an internal investigation. Longtime staff members Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt—who have been with the show since its inception in 2003—will stay on as executive producers alongside DeGeneres.

The news was delivered Monday afternoon during a staff meeting where DeGeneres spoke via videoconference call. Variety reports she “was emotional to the point of tears, and apologetic as she addressed more than 200 staffers.”

As NewNowNext has covered at length, DeGeneres has been accused of being exceptionally rude to former employees and celebrity guests alike. The tensions came to a head in mid-July when Buzzfeed News published a damning deep-dive into the toxic work environment on the set of the long-running talk show. Multiple former staffers recalled a culture of fear, intimidation, and racism toward Black staffers.

The controversy attracted so much bad press that WarnerMedia and Telepictures, the show’s production studio, launched an internal investigation into the workplace. (And that’s not even factoring in DeGeneres’s now-infamous “friendship” with former president George W. Bush.) It also prompted DeGeneres herself to issue a personal apology.

Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

“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,” the 62-year-old talk-show host wrote to her employees. “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.”

On Monday’s call with staffers DeGeneres said that the show would “come back strong” in September, adding: “This will be the best season we’ve ever had.”

I write about drag queens. Dolly Parton once ruffled my hair and said I was "just the cutest thing ever."
@chrisreindeer