Ellen DeGeneres Show offers new perks for staff following latest apology from host
The Ellen DeGeneres Show unveiled new perks for its staff, including more paid time off and a generous medical leave policy, following a new apology from Ellen DeGeneres and the ouster of three top producers, EW has learned.
Staffers will receive five paid days off to use at their discretion, birthdays off, and paid time for doctor's appointments and family matters, a source confirmed to EW.
Senior producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner announced the news on Monday via a Zoom call, and Variety, which first broke the news, reported that the two told staffers “don’t be afraid" during the call.
EW has reached out to representatives for the show for additional comment.
The policy changes come after a BuzzFeed News report from mid-July that alleged a "toxic work environment" behind the scenes, with ex-employees saying they were overworked, as well as former staffers reporting a culture filled with racism, intimidation, and fear. Some said they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals.
The new staffing perks were revealed in the same Zoom call that saw DeGeneres apologize to her entire team. The host opened the virtual meeting by announcing the departure of three executive producers. EPs Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-EP Jonathan Norman had previously been accused of sexual misconduct in another BuzzFeed News article from July.
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 learned from a source.
“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.
While Glavin did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment, Leman and Norman denied the allegations. In a statement obtained by EW, an attorney representing Leman slammed the allegations, saying his departure was "the termination of an innocent man."
The BuzzFeed piece on the three EPs came hours after DeGeneres sent staffers a letter obtained by EW in which she took responsibility for complaints that she fostered a toxic workplace.
A human resources executive provided by WarnerMedia, which owns WBTV, has already started work and has attended several Zoom meetings, a source told EW. The executive does not report to the show's leadership, providing anonymity to workers and a dedicated advocate.
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."