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“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is now the subject of an internal workplace investigation by Warner Bros Media stemming from allegations of racism and a toxic work environment, Variety reports. Last week, members of staff received a memo from Telepictures executives explaining that they have included Warner Bros Television’s parent company WarnerMedia and a third-party firm in the investigation, who will be responsible for interviewing current and former employees about their experiences on the set.

Since the spring, the talk show has been at the center of damaging reports about poor working conditions. Most recently, Buzz Feed published a report in which one current and ten former employees of the series described the work environment as toxic and racist. Allegations ranged from employees being fired after taking medical leave or bereavement days to racial microaggressions. 


A Black woman who used to work for the show told the publication that when she was hired, a senior-level producer  told her, “Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused.” In another incident, a writer for the show told her, “I’m sorry, I only know the names of the white people who work here.”

While executive producers and senior managers were mostly blamed for the day-to-day trauma inflicted upon employees, some employees feel that Ellen needs to take more responsibility for what is happening behind the scenes of her show.

“If she wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” one former employee said. “I think the executive producers surround her and tell her, ‘Things are going great, everybody’s happy,’ and she just believes that, but it’s her responsibility to go beyond that.”

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