‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ workplace under investigation by WarnerMedia

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is the subject of an internal investigation by Warner Media following reports of a toxic work environment.

The investigation was first reported by Variety, which quoted a note to staff at show producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros. Television that they have engaged with WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third-party firm to interview. to current and former employees about their experiences working for the show.

NBC News has not seen the memo, but a source close to production confirmed the investigation, saying it started last week and that “there are ongoing talks” with past and present employees.

The source also said DeGeneres is not part of the review: “It is not about her at all.”

Variety reported in April that some members of the show’s team were upset by its alleged treatment by major producers amid the coronavirus pandemic, including by what they said was a lack of communication about pay and hours of work. .

In response to the article, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Television told Variety: “Our executive producers and Telepictures are committed to taking care of our staff and crew and have made decisions with everything in mind.” The study also said the crew has received constant pay, albeit at reduced hours.

Later, BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that 10 former employees and a current staff member, speaking on condition of anonymity, alleged a toxic atmosphere at odds with the show’s slogan, “Be nice to each other.”

A former employee, a black woman, said she was subjected to multiple racist comments and micro-assaults during her year and a half working on the program. At a work party, for example, one of the show’s top writers said, “Sorry, I only know the names of the whites who work here.”

She said that when she asked producers not to use offensive phrases like “spirit animal” in the scripts, her colleagues called her “the PC police.” Eventually she left work one day and never returned.

Another employee told BuzzFeed News that after taking medical leave to spend a month in a mental health center after a suicide attempt, upon returning to the hospital they told him that his position had been removed.

“The biggest common thread everyone told me is that what goes on behind the scenes is a far cry from what the show stands for in its ‘be nice’ messages and what the show and what Ellen DeGeneres benefits from,” Krystie Lee Yandoli said. The man who reported the article to BuzzFeed News said “TODAY” in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

When the BuzzFeed News article was published on July 16, executive producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner said they were taking the allegations “very seriously.”

“Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes and employing more than 1,000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment,” the statement said. “We are truly heartbroken and sorry to hear that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It is not who we are and it is not what we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.”

“The day-to-day responsibility of the Ellen show falls entirely on us. We take all of this very seriously and realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to improve, we are committed to doing better, and we will do it. better, “the statement said.

Regarding the investigation reports, representatives from Warner Bros. Television and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” declined to comment in separate emails to NBC News. DeGeneres has not made any public comment on the allegations or the investigation. The award-winning daytime talk show is currently on its normal summer vacation.