EXCLUSIVE: ‘I’ll be talking to my fans’: Ellen DeGeneres reveals plan for her next attempt at damage control as she steps out in Santa Barbara after firing three top producers amid accusations of a ‘toxic’ workplace
- Ellen DeGeneres, 62, was spotted with a friend leaving lunch in Santa Barbara, California
- She has been engulfed in scandal following accusations of fostering a ‘toxic’ work environment in which producers engaged in sexual misconduct
- The talk show host refused to comment on the three producers fired from her show amid the scandal
- DeGeneres revealed that she would be addressing the allegations directly, saying, ‘I will be talking to my fans’
- Rumors has been rampant that she may plan to leave the show, with multiple replacements being considered
Ellen DeGeneres has revealed her next attempts at damage control as her TV show continues to face an onslaught of criticism.
The 62-year-old talk show host was seen departing a restaurant in the Southern California city with a female friend amid claims that she allowed a ‘toxic’ workplace to fester at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
When asked about how her show would look following the firings of three top producers, the comedian simply said, ‘I will be talking to my fans,’ before departing.
Speaking up: Ellen DeGeneres, 62, said she would be talking to her fans after leaving a lunch in Santa Barbara on Saturday amid allegations that she fostered a ‘toxic’ workplace
Ellen kept her lunch look casual with a white button up shirt and a set of baggy olive cargo pants.
The stand-up star paired them with brilliant white trainers, and she blocked out the sun with a set of aviator sunglasses.
Ellen’s friend was dressed similarly in a white shirt, though she wore simple khakis and tan loafers with it.
Both women wore cloth masks over their faces to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus amid a surge in California, though Ellen removed hers once she was near her car and more than six feet away from others.
No fuss: Ellen kept her lunch look casual with a white button up shirt and a set of baggy olive cargo pants
Laid-back: The stand-up star paired them with brilliant white trainers, and she blocked out the sun with a set of aviator sunglasses. Ellen brought a mask along and wore it while with her friend, though she removed it once she was by her car and at least six feet away from others
On Monday, Warner Bros. Television announced that three senior producers had been fired from Ellen’s show: Ed Glavin, one of the executive producers, Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, and Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer.
They were fired following an investigation instigated by descriptions of a ‘toxic work culture’ in a BuzzFeed News investigation.
Employees described working in a culture rife with ‘racism, fear and intimidation.’
Much of the employees’ ire was directed at Glavin, along with the producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, but Connelly and Lassner both retained their jobs and will continue to work in the same roles.
Casual: Ellen’s friend was dressed similarly in a white shirt, though she wore simple khakis and tan loafers with it
On Monday, Warner Bros. Television announced that three senior producers had been fired from Ellen’s show: Ed Glavin, one of the executive producers, Jonathan Norman, a co-executive producer, and Kevin Leman, the show’s head writer. Employees described working in a culture rife with ‘racism, fear and intimidation’
Leman was accused by multiple employees of sexual harassment, though he denied any improper behavior.
Ellen addressed her staff on Monday via video chat to announce the firings, while also revealing that the show’s DJ Steven Laurel Boss had been promoted to executive producer.
The comedian offered up a second apology to her employees on the same video call, following an earlier apology in July in which she presented the misconduct allegations as something that she wasn’t aware of.
Ellen is under contract to continue hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show for Warner Bros. Television through 2022, and she recently inked a new deal to develop three shows for WarnerMedia’s new streaming platform HBO Max.
Rallying the troops: Ellen addressed her staff via video chat on Monday to announce the firing of the top staff. She offered her second apology to them, following one from July
Though much of the misconduct was alleged to come from her top staff, the focus has turned to Ellen’s own behavior in recent days.
On Friday, Modern Family star Sofia Vergara responded after a clip of Ellen poking fun at her accent resurfaced.
The Colombian-born actress claimed they were just ‘two comedians having fun with each other to entertain.’
‘I was never a victim guys,’ Sofia continued. ‘I was always in on the joke.’
Comedian Kevin Hart also came to his friend Ellen’s defense and claimed she and her staff had always been kind to him and his own employees, though she was never accused of mistreating people she considered her equals.
Clearing the air: Sofia spoke out after a clip of Ellen poking fun at her accent went viral. She claimed it was just a joke and that she was in on it the whole time
In the clip: Ellen is seen making fun of Sofia’s English-speaking skills on multiple occasions, which has given fans pause as the host has gained scrutiny as to how she treats others
Strong bond: Kevin Hart credited his defense to his friendship with Ellen. ‘Well, I don’t lose sight of the definition of friendship, and in our business, it’s one thing that people don’t really hold on to,’ he said; pictured in 2017 with (L-R) Eniko Hart, Ellen and Portia de Rossi
On Thursday, Variety reported that Ellen’s newest damage control strategy was to off her employees new benefits.
Staffers will now get five paid days off for use as they please, though it wasn’t clear if this was on top of vacation time, or if employees on get a total of five paid days off per year.
Employees will also get their birthdays off with pay, and there’s a more liberal policy for paid time off for medical appointments and family matters.
The news was delivered by Connelly and Lassner, the subjects of many of the toxic workplace allegations.
It’s working: Sources with knowledge of the situation told Variety that new measures are already having the desired effect of boosting morale within the staff after Ellen video chatted with employees to announce they were getting five paid days off, paid birthdays off, and paid time off for medical appointments and family matters; shown in November 2019
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