Forget what you’ve heard about Ellen DeGeneres and the talk show she anchors.
Or at least what you’ve heard in terms of this program’s future on air.
According to producer Andy Lassner, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is alive, well and is NOT about to get canceled.
Over the past several days, this once-beloved series has been at the center of one scathing report after another.
In mid-July, Buzzfeed News published an article that quoted nearly a dozen former staffers, all of whom outlined a culture of misconduct and abuse behind the scenes of the talk show.
These ex-employees said they were fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days… faced microaggressions … and were subjected to favoritism by executive producers.
There were also claims of racism by these executives.
About two weeks later, Buzzfeed News also reported that producer/head writer Kevin Leman groped employees and made inappropriate remarks about their appearances on a regular basis.
This behavior allegedly went unchecked for years.
One former employee even detailed how Leman asked if he would perform oral sex in the bathroom at a company party in 2013.
No wonder there’s been talk of axing a program that is led by these kinds of people, right?
Lassner doesn’t seem fazed by the speculation, though.
"Me: I really think 2020 is gonna turn around and start getting better," he captioned a post on Thursday, July 30, adding:
"2020: Lol, I’m gonna make your bed the epicenter."
A follower then wrote back to Lassner:
"I seriously wish you well. If the Ellen show goes off the air due to all these allegations (I, personally, have stopped watching) I hope you are able to find employment quickly. Your twitter account always made me laugh."
In response, the producer simply wrote:
Nobody is going off the air.
Lassner’s message came in the wake of one of the aforementioned former employees saying Ellen was in charge of a "toxic work environment."
"People focus on rumors about how Ellen is mean and everything like that, but that’s not the problem," one ex-employee told Buzzfeed News.
"The issue is these three executive producers running the show who are in charge of all these people [and] who make the culture and are putting out this feeling of bullying and being mean."
The producers in question are Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Lassner.
"We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience," they said in a joint statement late last month.
"It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.
‘For the record, the day to day responsibility of The Ellen Show is completely on us.
"We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."
That sounds noble and all — but Ellen DeGeneres’ name is on the show.
Following weeks’ of silence, the comedian therefore issued her own reply to these troubling claims last week.
"My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that," she said at the time, pushing some blame on to others and adding:
"I’m learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop."
Referencing her sexual orientation, DeGeners continued:
"As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded.
"To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.
"It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice."
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world.
I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it.
Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then.
Stay safe and healthy.