Scooter Braun defends Ellen DeGeneres amid allegations of 'toxic' culture at her talk show
The record executive and manager, whose clients include Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, came to DeGeneres' defense on social media in the midst of ongoing controversy surrounding the comedian's long-running talk show.
"People love to take shots. They love to see people fall. How quickly so many forget. How easy it is to stay quiet when it doesn’t effect [sic] them," Braun wrote in a Friday Instagram post. "[DeGeneres] is a kind, thoughtful, courageous human being who stands for what is right and highlights on her show the best of us. She has helped change the views for equality all around the country and the world. She doesn’t do what is popular she does what is right."
"Today I’m sending love out to her," he added. "I know first hand how much she helps others both when we are all watching and when we are not. @theellenshow thank you for all you do and keep your head held high."
Recent BuzzFeed News reports have portrayed a "toxic work environment" behind the scenes of DeGeneres' talk show, citing racism and intimidation as well as "harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault from top producers." (Two of the producers named denied these allegations to BuzzFeed; the other did not respond.) The controversy escalated on Thursday and Friday after DeGeneres sent a letter to her staff taking responsibility for the issues, but portraying herself as largely unaware of any abusive behavior.
"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," DeGeneres wrote in the letter. "Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry ... 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."
This response prompted criticism from Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett, who accused DeGeneres of personally fostering the "toxic" culture. "Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge," Garrett tweeted. Back to the Future actress Lea Thompson later replied, "True story. It is."
WarnerMedia conducted its own investigation of the show's workplace, saying in a statement that "several staffing changes" will be undertaken "along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised," adding, "We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show." (This statement was issued prior to BuzzFeed's report on the sexual misconduct allegations.)