Months after Variety published a piece on "furious," "distressed," and "outraged" crew members on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, the magazine reports that WarnerMedia has launched an internal investigation. The probe comes after another piece on the "toxic work culture" at the show, this one published on BuzzFeed earlier this month. Employees have complained about issues ranging from how crew members were treated amid the coronavirus shutdown to alleged racism and intimidation. Executives sent a memo last week telling staffers that WarnerMedia's employee relations group, plus a third-party consultant, will interview current and former staffers about their experiences working on the show. Warner Bros. Television has not officially commented, nor has anyone from the show.
However, executive producers did comment to BuzzFeed, issuing a joint statement saying they were "truly heartbroken and sorry" to hear the allegations, which included things like a Black employee being told by one of the main writers, "I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here" to awkward laughter. The same employee says she and another employee were told by a senior producer, "Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused." That was just one of multiple accounts in the piece; another former employee says they were issued a warning after creating a GoFundMe to cover medical expenses not covered by their work health insurance; they were later fired for posting an office selfie on Instagram, despite the fact that co-workers had done the same in the past with no consequences. (Read more Ellen DeGeneres stories.)