Internal investigation at ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ after allegations of racism

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Executives at WarnerMedia have launched an internal investigation into “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” as fallout continues over allegations of racism, mistreatment and intimidation that surfaced recently behind the scenes of the popular daytime series, according to an exclusive report by Variety Magazine.

DeGeneres, whose motto on the show is “Be kind,” has not been directly accused of any workplace hostilities, according to the show’s current and former employees, who earlier this month accused executive producers and senior managers of creating a daily toxic environment.

One former employee told BuzzFeed, however, that DeGeneres “needs to take more responsibility” because her name is on the show.

“That ‘be kind’ bulls--- only happens when the cameras are on,” the former employee told BuzzFeed at the time. “It’s all for show ... I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show.”

The front office for the show’s producer, Telepictures, and its distributor, Warner Bros. Television, have responded to the uproar, sending a memo to employees last week informing them about upcoming interviews that would seek insights on any negative experiences on the job, Variety reported, citing several inside sources. Top-level human resources officials are involved.

The company brass had not commented about the matter Monday, the report said, and a representative for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” did not immediately respond to Variety’s calls.

Previously, Variety reported in April about an uproar among ‘Ellen’ stage crew members who cited the show’s lack of communication with them and its slowness to prioritize worker concerns during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. That was followed by a 60% cut in pay, even as the show continued to air.

Earlier this month, BuzzFeed interviewed several current and former employees of the show, all of whom alleged racism and intimidation on the set. Each of them asked to remain anonymous.

The allegations included claims of racist and passive-aggressive behavior and inappropriate banter during work hours, including one specific remark about two Black female employees with the same hairstyle.

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