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The global coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping hosts, directors, and showrunners from being held accountable for possible abusive behavior on set. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is the latest production to go through a reckoning as an internal investigation has been mounted with regards to alleged workplace misconduct.
Variety reports that multiple accounts of workplace problems has prompted WarnerMedia to conduct an internal investigation to find out the truth. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is produced by Telepictures and is distributed by Warner Bros. Television.
According to Variety, a third party firm will work alongside WarnerMedia’s own employee relations group to question past and present staffers about their experiences on The Ellen DeGeneres Show set.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the internal investigation comes after a report by Buzzfeed last July 16 that outlined a work environment that is allegedly peppered with unjust termination, racism, and a toxic work culture.
The Buzzfeed report claims that employees who brought up concerns about problematic language suffered retribution because of it. Medical leaves and time off from work to attend funerals also allegedly received push back from the production.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show producers Ed Glavin, Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner released a statement addressing the Buzzfeed report saying that they have always aimed for a work environment that is inclusive, safe, and open. The trio apologized if any member of the production has had a negative experience on the show and took on the responsibility and accountability for the complaints.
The workplace complaints against The Ellen DeGeneres Show are just the latest to surface in Hollywood. Recently, MacGyver star Lucas Till confessed that he felt “suicidal” during his time working with showrunner Peter Lenkov. The 29-year-old actor says he was pushed to his “breaking point” by the body-shaming, verbal abuse, and bullying he suffered under Lenkov.
Till has alleged that Lenkov would call his legs “f—ing hideous” and would instruct directors to ask him to cover up because his body was like that of a little boy. According to Till, maintaining the “man weight” the show required was difficult to do because of the demands of the production.
Another name called out for alleged abusive behavior on set was director Joss Whedon. According to Ray Fisher, the actor who played Cyborg on Joss Whedon’s Justice League, the director’s behavior was unprofessional, abusive, and gross.
Fisher also called out former DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns as well as former Warner Bros. co-president of production Jon Berg of enabling Whedon’s abuses on set.