The Ellen Show: three top producers axed over toxic workplace controversy

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After weeks of questions over its future, news has emerged that The Ellen DeGeneres Show has axed three of its top senior producers – executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman – amid the ongoing controversy.

From left: producers Jonathan Norman, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin, and Mary Connelly pose with the daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment for The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2015.
Source: BuzzFeed News
(The names underlined indicate the senior producers who have been let go)

In the aftermath of the #SpeakingOut movement, many notable celebrities began to have their questionable pasts and actions being brought to light. This includes daytime TV host and mega-celebrity, Ellen DeGeneres. 

Ellen DeGeneres began her career as a stand-up comedian performing in small venues throughout the ’80s until she made her break into TV and film. Since then, Ellen has been on TV for almost three decades, initially appearing in short-lived sitcoms before breaking out into her own sitcom ‘Ellen’. After four successful years, the show got cancelled, however, Ellen’s own popularity was at an all-time high due in part to her public coming out on Oprah’s talk show in 1997. 

For many, Ellen is most well-known nowadays due to her talk show ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’. Beginning in 2003, the show has had its fair share of memorable moments and celebrity guests throughout the years and has become a staple of daytime TV due to Ellen’s natural charisma and wit. 

However, this soon could be coming to an end. In the midst of the ongoing #SpeakingOut movement, allegations were made towards Ellen about supposed ‘toxic’ behaviour and the creation of a hostile and negative working environment, beginning with a July 30th story published by BuzzFeed News. Subsequently, there followed accusations of harassment and sexual misconduct from top executives and producers, as well as multiple counts of abusive and racist language used on set.

Ellen personally announced the changes to her staff on video and apologised to all affected. She also claimed that an investigation would take place into the claims made against the producers, in particular against Ed Glavin, before rounding off the video with a commitment to making the workplace back to what it used to be. 

The Ellen Show may have been a staple of American TV, but if the controversy continues it may be time to say goodbye.

Words by Paul Dawson

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