Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show has undergone some major changes behind the scenes, as three senior producers have been fired from the show following an internal investigation by Warner Bros. Following accusations of inappropriate behavior from behind the scenes of the daytime talk show, some of which included allegations of racial insensitivity and sexual misconduct, it has been reported that the company has terminated executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman along with co-executive producer Jonathan Norman. The trio are also said to be out from DeGeneres’ other shows, such as NBC’s Ellen’s Game of Games.
The three top producers had previously been suspended when the investigation into the show’s “toxic” workplace had come to light, so their firings aren’t unexpected. While Warner Bros. has not yet provided an official statement about the new changes behind the scenes at Ellen, staffers reportedly were delivered the news on Monday afternoon during a videoconference staff meeting with DeGeneres. One staffer claims DeGeneres said that the news about what happened “broke her heart,” though she also has yet to release an official statement to the press. Sources also say that veteran executive producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner, and Derek Westervelt will all remain on the show.
In July, BuzzFeed published an article featuring quotes from former staffers alleging that the show had a toxic work environment. Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin, and Jonathan Norman in particular were accused of sexual misconduct and harassment. Things went from bad to worse when celebrities like Lea Thompson and Brad Garrett publicly acknowledged the accusations by suggesting they were all true. Meanwhile, other famous stars, including Katy Perry and Ashton Kutcher, came to DeGeneres’ defense. Addressing the internal investigation, DeGeneres personally said she was “disappointed” to learn about the behavior of her producers in an apology letter sent to staff.
There had been speculation that Ellen was going to be axed entirely as a result of the backlash against the show. Ellen DeGeneres was also rumored to be considering pulling the plug herself, rather than dealing with the controversy. The hashtag #ReplaceEllen even began trending on Twitter with many people offering a variety of suggestions for potential replacements for a new daytime television talk show host. For better or for worse, it has since been reported that DeGeneres will be back for the 18th season of her show next month, though it’s now clear that the production team will be given a major overhaul.
Reportedly, the season 18 premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show has also been pushed back a week, now set to return on Sept. 14. It’s not yet clear who will be featured as special guests when the show comes back to the air. As ratings for the show began to drop when word of the troublesome backstage environment came to light, it’s going to be interesting to see how the talk show will fare when it returns to television. Clearly, DeGeneres and Warner Bros. are hoping that booting the three accused producers will get the show’s former viewers to tune back in. This news comes to us from Variety.