LOS ANGELES CA –The Ellen DeGeneres show has been on the air for seventeen years, and has been a place that many people turn to for entertainment, as well as a good laugh.
For many years, the host, Ellen DeGeneres, did not disappoint viewers who tuned in to watch her show, but what the fans did not know, are the members of the production team allege they have faced sexual harassment, assaults, and a toxic work environment.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 1, 2020
Initial complaints came in, which said that DeGeneres is hard to work for, and seems “cold” when dealing with staff. Other complaints of a racist atmosphere were made, when a former employee claims that she was tired of hearing comments about her race, and was forced to walk off the job.
In a letter obtained by the Reporter, DeGeneres speaks about how the show began, and her promise to the staff at the time, that the work environment would be all welcoming and fun for all.
“I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that…..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 that does not happen again.”
Anyone with office experience knows the culture and climate is established at the top. @TheEllenShow is no different. Ellen Degeneres is responsible for any sexist, racist, demeaning and intimidating behavior at her show. And she contributes to it all.
— roslyn ali (@aligirl84) July 31, 2020
While DeGeneres speaks of the earlier complaints, the most recent ones, are that high ranking members of her staff are also spending time sexually harassing staffers.
The staff believes that DeGeneres must know what is going on, although some ex-staffers say that she may well be unaware because executive producers keep her insulated. Buzzfeed reported that they had spoken to several former staff members of the show, and a lot of them confirmed the rumors and allegations.
Specifically those against Executive Producer and head writer Kevin Leman, and his requests for sexual favors from young male employees. He is also alleged to have groped a man and kissed his neck against his will.
‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ Faces Multiple Accusations of Sexual Assault and Harassment https://t.co/rsz2TXxghW
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) August 1, 2020
Leman is also accused of making sexually explicit comments while in the office and asking people, after pointing toward their genitals, unwelcome comments about their favorite sexual positions. According to Buzzfeed, an ex-employee said that he would focus on younger male staffers, and stated the comments Leman would make would be “masked in sarcasm, but it’s not sarcasm.”
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In response to the complaints, Leman said:
“While my job as head writer is to come up with jokes – and, during that process, we can occasionally push the envelope – I’m horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense. I have always aimed to treat everyone on the staff with kindness, inclusivity and respect. In my whole time on the show, to my knowledge, I’ve never had a single HR or inter-personal complaint made about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be published.”
Leman is not the only employee that has complaints against him stemming from sexual harassment. A former employee claims Co-Executive Producer Jonathan Norman also has complaints from a male employee who claims that Norman attempted to provide oral sex on him against his will.
The employee believes that Norman had been trying to get him interested, by taking him different places and providing work-related perks before he attempted oral sex.
Ed Glavin, the Executive Producer for the show, is claimed to have gone after women by touching them in ways which made them uncomfortable. They report being touched, and having their shoulders and back rubbed which was against their will. Some also claim that Glavin would place his hand on the small of their backs, again, unwanted.
Any complaints that are being made need to be thoroughly investigated and vetted. No one deserves to work in an atmosphere in which they do not feel comfortable by actions taken by the leadership team.
Whether DeGeneres knew, or should have known about the alleged sexual harassment, does not limit her liability in the issue. And, if the claims of her being cold, terminating people unjustly, and being racist are true, perhaps it is time that people stand up to her and cancel the show.
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