Ellen DeGeneres on the sets of her show. File
Ellen DeGeneres‘s talk show is reportedly being investigated after numerous claims of issues on set by staff members.
An internal investigation is said to have been launched by the show’s distributor, Warner Bros Television, and its producer, Telepicture, following reports of bad treatment while working on the show.
According to Variety, Warner Bros Television’s owner, WarnerMedia, will lead the investigation alongside an anonymous third party firm, who will interview current as well as former staff members.
The news was reportedly discovered after current employees received a memo filling them in on the situation.
Several reports indicating a poor workplace environment on the long-running daytime show’s set have surfaced throughout the past four months.
Former employees of DeGeneres’s series accused its producers of fostering an environment filled with “racism, fear and intimidation”.
Ten individuals who used to work on the show, and one current employee, anonymously alleged to BuzzFeed News incidents including being fired for attending two family funerals, and producers joking that two black employees look similar and may cause confusion.
Many of the accusers alleged that the show’s environment is “dominated by fear”, and claimed that employees who don’t raise concerns about work hours or microaggressions are rewarded.
A source claimed: “They feel that everybody who works at The Ellen Show is lucky to work there – ‘So if you have a problem, you should leave because we’ll hire someone else because everybody wants to work here.’”
DeGeneres, who is is reportedly worth $330m (£264m), was not directly blamed for the workplace environment in these particular instances.
However, weeks before, she found herself at the centre of several accusations of “mean” behaviour after comedian Kevin T Porter pledged to donate $2 to a Los Angeles food bank for every “insane story” his Twitter followers tweeted to him about her.
He branded the 62-year-old DeGeneres “notoriously one of the meanest people alive”.
Earlier this month, the show’s production company denied speculation that it will be cancelled as a result of these allegations.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, DeGeneres continued to host the show from her home in California, but soon faced criticism when it was alleged her crew members had been left in the dark about their pay situation.
A spokesperson for the show admitted to poor communication with employees, but attributed the blame to confusion caused by lockdown restrictions.
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