Staff on Ellen show to get more benefits

Ellen DeGeneres in a photo taken in January. At a virtual town hall meeting earlier this week, she apologised to employees for on-set toxicity that occurred "on her watch".
Ellen DeGeneres in a photo taken in January. At a virtual town hall meeting earlier this week, she apologised to employees for on-set toxicity that occurred "on her watch".PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • Employees at daytime television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003 to present), will be receiving increased benefits as the show continues to grapple with allegations of workplace toxicity.

According to entertainment news outlet Variety, recently added benefits for staff include birthdays off and five paid days off to use at their discretion as well as paid time for family matters and medical appointments.

The news was delivered earlier this week by senior Ellen producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, at a virtual town hall.

The meeting also saw a teary DeGeneres apologise to employees for on-set toxicity that occurred "on her watch".

Last month, Buzzfeed News published an explosive report, exposing the realities of working on set at the popular talk show.

Former and current employees recounted incidents of sexual misconduct and racial prejudice, among other instances of intimidation and bullying.

Following an internal investigation by Warner Bros Television, which produces the talk show, three of the show's top producers - Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman - were fired.

All three have been levelled with allegations of sexual misconduct. Glavin has not publicly addressed the claims, while Leman and Norman have denied the accusations.

Meanwhile, DeGeneres, 62, has apologised to employees multiple times.

Public opinion has been split. At the start of this month, a #ReplaceEllen hashtag went viral on Twitter. There were rumours that English comedian-actor James Corden was in talks to replace DeGeneres.

However, she has had supporters including her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, singer Katy Perry as well as actor and comedian Kevin Hart.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2020, with the headline 'Staff on Ellen show to get more benefits'. Print Edition | Subscribe