Ellen DeGeneres is addressing workplace "issues" at her talk show after numerous former staffers made allegations about its behind-the-scenes culture.
Days after news broke that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would undergo an internal investigation by Warner Media, DeGeneres, 62, sent a lengthy memo to staff, in which she said she is "glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention" and that they are "taking steps ... to correct" them.
"Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that the Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show," DeGeneres began her message, which was obtained by PEOPLE.
"I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues.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," she continued.
DeGeneres went on to say that some people she works with have been speaking on her behalf and misrepresenting her.
"I’m also 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. 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," said DeGeneres. "It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice."
The talk show host then said she is "glad the issues" were brought to her attention, and she is promising to do her "part" in pushing herself and others "to learn and grow."
"We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow.It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so," said the comedian.
She concluded: "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. Love, Ellen."
In a statement from Warner Bros. on Thursday, the network said it "interviewed dozens of current and former employees about the environment" of the show and were "disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management."
Photo: Getty Images