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The Ellen Degeneres Show: Racism, Discrimination and Harassment In The Workplace

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Several former and current employers of the popular Ellen DeGeneres show have come forward about the toxic work environment on the set.

Among the allegations are:

  • Racist comments from producers to black former employees (comments on their hair or only knowing the names of white employees);
  • Wrongful termination of an employee after taking a month-long medical leave after her suicide attempt;
  • Wrongful termination of another employee for taking a three-week medical leave after getting injured in a car accident;
  • Intimidation and bullying;
  • Abandonment of production crew during the COVID-19 shutdown;
  • Sexual harassment and misconduct by producers;
  • Gender discrimination and harassment

Some celebrities and other TV personalities who had previously appeared on the show also shared their negative experiences with Ellen herself and some of the producers. One even commented that most of the staff members “walk on eggshells” around Ellen and that they are told not to look at or talk to her unless “she talks to you first”.

In an attempt to disassociate Ellen from the accusations, Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner, and Mary Connelly, the show’s executive producers, told a news outlet that “For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”

While the allegations were mainly towards the show’s producers and other producers, DeGeneres has since apologized by saying “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. 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.”

Warner Bros. Television is doing their own investigation and stated “Though not all of the allegations were corroborated, we are disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management. We have identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised.”

There’s speculation that the show will go off the air or that DeGeneres will be replaced. As of now, executive producers have only confirmed the season premier of the show being Sept. 9th, but everything else seems to be uncertain.

Workplace harassment is against the law, both under federal and California laws. It can be verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional. Determining whether or not a person has been harassed can be tricky and complicated. Some instances may be offensive or bothersome to one, yet not to another.

If you feel that a line has been crossed or that you have been harassed in any way while at work, our experienced workplace harassment attorneys at Mesriani Law Group will review your claims and situation. With more than twenty years of experience, we will give you a better understanding of the different types of workplace harassment as defined by the state laws and help you determine if you have a legal claim for workplace harassment. Contact us for free consultation at 866-500-7070.

About the Author
Picture of Rodney Mesriani
Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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