Variety reports executive producers Ed Galvin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman will depart from The Ellen DeGeneres Show after the production began an internal investigation into allegations of a toxic work environment that included sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity.
During a videoconference on Monday, Ellen broke the news to more than 200 staff members reportedly becoming “emotional to the point of tears.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres said:
I’m so so sorry for what this has become.
I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and try to learn from my mistakes.
I care about each and every one of you. I am grateful for each and every one of you. I feel like I’ve kind of let the ball drop a bit because I’m focused on the show, I go in and I do the show, and I’ve just let everybody to do their jobs – to run different departments.
And it just became a well-oiled machine, and I think that is the problem. It’s not a machine. This is people. These are human beings that are working hard every single day to put this together. This show would not be what it is without all of you.
Executive producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt will remain at the show alongside host DeGeneres, and the show’s resident DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, has been promoted to co-executive producer.
Michael Plonsker, an attorney representing Leman, issued this statement:
The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man – a popular figure and a creative force behind the Ellen show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen – is shocking. Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment.
At the end of July, Ellen had penned a mea culpa to the crew vowing to make changes.
“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
DeGeneres told the staff on Monday she fully expects the fall season of the talk show to “come back strong” when the series returns this September. DeGeneres was quoted as saying it will be “the best season we’ve ever had.”