Former staffers reported sexual harassment and racism on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' set.

Lia Beck
August 04, 2020
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Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Amid a variety of allegations against producers and high-level staff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Portia de Rossi and Katy Perry are speaking out in support of Ellen DeGeneres. De Rossi, DeGeneres’s wife, spoke out on Instagram, while Perry tweeted her opinions of the talk show host. 

On August 3rd, de Rossi Instagrammed an image of the text “I Stand By Ellen” with the caption, “To all our fans....we see you. Thank you for your support. #stopbotattacks.” She also included the hashtags “#IStandWithEllenDeGeneres," “#IStandByEllen,” and “‪#IStandByEllenDeGeneres,” among others. The comments de Rossi has received on her post are mixed. While some people note that DeGeneres is an inspiration for them and that they’re “proud” of de Rossi for supporting her wife, others call out de Rossi for blaming “bot attacks” on the backlash DeGeneres has received on social media. It's unclear what alleged bots the Arrested Development actor is referring to.

“These are real people with real experiences but I guess you can call them bots lol,” reads one comment. “Sorry but she needs to take responsibility,” reads another.

As for Perry, she posted two tweets on August 4th about her own personal experience with DeGeneres. “I know I can’t speak for anyone else’s experience besides my own but I want to acknowledge that I have only ever had positive takeaways from my time with Ellen & on the @theellenshow,” the singer wrote. “I think we all have witnessed the light & continual fight for equality that she has brought … to the world through her platform for decades. Sending you love & a hug, friend @TheEllenShow.”

In response, many of Perry’s followers are telling her she should delete the tweet. “Katy katy katy katy...... please not you,” reads one reply. 

In July, BuzzFeed News published two reports detailing claims from former Ellen DeGeneres Show staffers. The first, published July 16th, includes allegations of a toxic work environment, racism, favoritism, and employees being let go from their jobs following medical and personal leave. In response to this report, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly, and Andy Lassner said in a statement to BuzzFeed News:

Then, on July 30th, BuzzFeed News published a second report in which former staffers made claims of sexual misconduct and harassment against executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman. Leman and Norman denied the allegations against them to BuzzFeed News, while Glavin did not comment. Variety reports that Glavin will be leaving his role, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Then, on July 30th, BuzzFeed News published a second report in which former staffers made claims of sexual misconduct and harassment against executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman. Leman and Norman denied the allegations against them to BuzzFeed News, while Glavin did not comment. Variety reports that Glavin will be leaving his role, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Warner Bros. has launched an internal investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show workplace. DeGeneres herself commented on the investigation and apologized to the show’s staff in a letter she wrote to employees that was obtained by Variety. According to the BuzzFeed News reports, many staffers do not place blame on DeGeneres, but some believe she should have done more and been more aware of her show’s workplace. One staffer told BuzzFeed News, “She knows shit goes on, but also she doesn’t want to hear it.”