Ellen DeGeneres apologizes again to staff as 3 producers 'part ways' with show
Ellen DeGeneres apologized again to her staff in an emotional Zoom meeting on Monday, during which employees learned three executive producers will be parting ways with the show.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. confirmed to EW that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman are leaving The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On Monday, in the first full day of production since the coronavirus shutdown, the host addressed her entire team, opening with the staffing updates, and apologizing for the upheaval.
DeGeneres spoke about being introverted and having good days and bad days, which caused her to keep to herself at times, something she acknowledged could be misinterpreted as her not being nice, EW has learned.
“Does that mean I’m perfect? No. I’m not. I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes," she was heard saying, a source told EW.
Glavin, Leman, and Norman were accused of sexual misconduct in a BuzzFeed News article from late July, in which 36 anonymous former staffers alleged incidents of "harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault from top producers." The piece came hours after DeGeneres sent staffers a letter obtained by EW addressing allegations that she fostered a toxic workplace.
Leman and Norman denied the allegations to BuzzFeed, while Glavin did not respond to the publication's request for comment.
In a statement, Norman said, "I have never had a single complaint against me in my career. I have never 'groomed' anyone. I have never done anything to harm another staff member. Ever. The person I believe you are referring to has ulterior motives for bringing down the show and has been acting with malice towards the show."
An attorney representing Leman slammed the allegations in a statement obtained by EW.
“The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man — a popular figure and a creative force behind the Ellen show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen — is shocking. Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment," the statement read.
Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt are staying on as EPs, according to Variety. The three have been with the Ellen show since it began in 2003. The outlet also reported that Leman and Glavin have been dismissed as EPs on other DeGeneres-produced shows, such as NBC's Ellen's Game of Games.
DeGeneres' prior letter to her staffers took responsibility for complaints of a toxic workplace, which were also reported on by BuzzFeed. Nearly a dozen current and former employees spoke to the outlet about their experiences on set, which they described as a "toxic work environment" filled with racism, intimidation, and fear.
Warner Bros. previously told EW in July that WarnerMedia interviewed "dozens of current and former employees" and found "deficiencies" in how the show was run. Without naming names, the company said there will be "several staffing changes made, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised."
In the wake of allegations against DeGeneres and the show, some celebrities like Kevin Hart and Ashton Kutcher have stood up for the host, while others like Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson called out the comedian's behavior as "common knowledge." The series' resident DJ, Stephen 'tWitch' Boss, defended DeGeneres, while his predecessor DJ Tony Okungbowa backed up claims about "the toxicity of the environment." Boss has been promoted to co-executive producer, according to Variety.
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- Former Ellen DeGeneres Show DJ Tony Okungbowa says he felt 'toxicity' on set
- Ex-Ellen DeGeneres Show employees accuse producers of sexual misconduct: Report