Ellen DeGeneres has broken her silence after WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation into allegations of a toxic work environment at her talk show.
Following reports from former and current employees who claim they experienced racism, workplace intimidation, and mistreatment by colleagues while working under The Ellen DeGeneres Show host, Ellen apologized in a letter to her staff.
The 62-year-old talk show host also accused unnamed employees and people who work with her of “misrepresenting” who she is.
“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,” Ellen began in the internal memo.
“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,” Ellen continued. “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. 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,” she wrote. “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.”
Ellen ended her note by apologizing to anyone who didn’t “love working” on her show, and clarified that she would’ve made this announcement “in person” if not for the COVID -19 outbreak