Executives behind The Ellen DeGeneres Show were reportedly aware of the allegations of a toxic, sexist workplace environment on the hit daytime talk show as far back as 2018.
A complaint alleging gender discrimination — including sexist remarks made by top producers — was filed with an industry union in 2018, according to a report by Buzzfeed News, which means that executives behind the show have known about the allegations for at least two years.
“It was investigated by an outside investigator and resolved with no merit to claims of gender discrimination,” said a spokesperson for Warner Bros. “As previously stated, we are committed to changing the things that need to change and moving forward in a constructive and positive way.”
The spokesperson also confirmed the 2018 complaint, but added that “there is nothing new or noteworthy about this issue.”
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were fired in the wake of reports detailing allegations from current and former employees that included accusations ranging from sexual misconduct, harassment, racism, and a hostile work environment.
Some former employees feel the current investigation is a “publicity ploy,” according to Buzzfeed News.
“This should’ve never happened to begin with,” said one former employee. “It should’ve never gotten to the point where these people were unchecked and had that kind of power. It starts at the top. It starts with Ellen, it starts with Warner Bros., and the culture they create and the culture they allow.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently became subject to an internal investigation by corporate parent WarnerMedia following accusations that executives allowed a hostile work environment to fester for years. Employees spoke publicly, detailing DeGeneres’ rudeness toward show staff, and claimed that she had enabled a workplace culture that allowed for her higher-level employees to engage in rampant sexual misconduct for years.
Earlier this month, DeGeneres saw ratings for her talk show plummet to what was reported to be an all new low.