In March, comedian Kevin T. Porter began a Twitter thread asking for stories “about Ellen being mean” and received thousands of replies. The following month, Variety posted a story that claimed the staff at the talk show, which debuted in 2003, were not informed about their pay amid the pandemic. Additionally, a former bodyguard referred to her as “cold.”
As the reports continued, a source shared exclusively with Us Weekly that the comedian is “at the end of her rope” with the complaints. “She thought this was all just sour grapes from a few haters. But it’s not a passing thing — the hits just keep coming.”
After the first report, in which former staffers came forward to BuzzFeed News claiming the show was a “toxic environment,” executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner spoke out in a joint statement.
“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes and employing over 1,000 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,” the statement to BuzzFeed News read. “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.”
Soon after, WarnerMedia launched an investigation looking into the show. Although the actress has stayed mum publicly, she did send a lengthy memo to her staff, apologizing if there was behavior she was not aware of.
“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,” she wrote on July 30 in a note obtained by Us. “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.”
Scroll through the gallery below for a full breakdown of the scandal.