It was confirmed late yesterday that after complaints made public by current and former employees about workplace harassment and toxic workplace culture, three executive producers from The Ellen DeGeneres Show have been let go. On a Zoom call with staff yesterday, Ellen informed her team of the news and apologised – what exactly she apologised for is unclear but according to The Hollywood Reporter she did explain to people that she’s “an introverted personality that likes to have her own space, which may have led to staffers believing she wasn't nice”.
"I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and try to learn from my mistakes," she said.
Ellen went on to assure staff that she cares about them and is committed to being more present and part of the change. Various media outlets are now reporting that employees appreciated Ellen’s honesty and that the call “boosted morale”.
I’m sure some people did feel better. But it’s also possible that years of feeling sh-tty and scared to go to work stays with you a lot longer than the length of a Zoom call. If more focus right now is on the public face of Ellen and the show, and rebuilding its and her reputation, than making the staff feel safe and appreciated, and it’s not like they’re not online and reading about how these developments are being covered, it’s probably not going to change their perspectives overnight.
The other takeaway here is that there was never going to be a possibility that Ellen would be asked to leave. I did a radio interview last week about the Ellen situation and we addressed the fact that there were all these stories about replacements for Ellen and that she was going to be fired and my answer was that Ellen wasn’t going anywhere and if she was, it would be her call, because let’s face it, she’s been coasting for a while.
And now she has to work. She has to put in the work. She says she’s sticking around to do the work. What will that work look like now that Ellen is so powerful – still powerful, despite recent developments – and so successful and spends more time with yes people than those who tell her about herself? The Ellen DeGeneres Show is WarnerMedia. So is HBO Max. If I were a producer there, I’d be pitching a docuseries about this year behind the scenes at Ellen, showing her doing the work…or not doing the work… to air next year on HBO Max.
Yours in gossip,