TV talk show titan Ellen DeGeneres has broken her silence to apologize amid multiple allegations of workplace misconduct.
Days after WarnerMedia bosses ordered a formal inquiry into complaints from staff members past and present about their treatment behind the scenes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the comedienne herself has spoken out to address the controversy.
In a memo sent to show staff and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, the Finding Dory star expressed disappointment in learning about the accusations of the “toxic” workplace, noting the irony of her “be kind to each other” mantra.
“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.
“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case.”
“For that, I am sorry,” she continued. “Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.”
DeGeneres vowed to work with WarnerMedia chiefs to “correct the issues” raised, which included claims of intimidation and racism.
“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,” she shared. “That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, officials plan to overhaul the show’s staff and replace co-executive producer Ed Glavin, and in her closing statements, DeGeneres expressed “deep compassion” for those who felt they had been mistreated.
Referencing her ‘coming out’ as a lesbian in 1994, she wrote, “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 anyone of you felt that way is awful to me…
“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.”