Jay Leno defends Ellen DeGeneres amid allegations about show environment
Jay Leno came to the defense of daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday amid allegations of employee mistreatment and a toxic workplace culture, dismissing the claims from nearly a dozen staffers as “hearsay.”
“I don’t discard a 40-year friendship on hearsay,” Leno tweeted Wednesday, accompanying the tweet with a photo of him with DeGeneres. “The Ellen I know has raised over $125 million dollars for charity and has always been a kind and decent person. I fully support her.”
I don’t discard a 40-year friendship on hearsay. The Ellen I know has raised over $125 million dollars for charity and has always been a kind and decent person. I fully support her. Jay Leno pic.twitter.com/b3i283YIBk
— Jay Leno (@jayleno) August 4, 2020
Warner Media and an outside firm are reportedly investigating “The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s” production after multiple current and former staffers detailed to BuzzFeed News a workplace culture of toxicity and abuse.
Workers were allegedly fired for taking medical leave or personal days to attend relatives’ funerals. One employee, a Black woman, said a writer told her in the presence of co-workers, “I only know the names of the white people who work here.”
DeGeneres issued an apology last week, telling staff, “I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
Several former employees have also alleged widespread sexual misconduct on the daytime talk show. Multiple sources say they saw executive producer Kevin Leman grope staff and that he regularly made lewd comments in the office.
“He’d probably do it in front of 10 people and they’d laugh because ‘it’s just Kevin being Kevin,’ but if you’re in a position of power at a company, you don’t just get to touch me like that,” one former employee told BuzzFeed in a piece that ran hours after DeGeneres’s apology.
Multiple celebrities, including Diane Keaton, Katy Perry and Kevin Hart, have also come to DeGeneres’s defense, while others, including actors Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson, have backed up the allegations. Garrett tweeted last week that he knew multiple people who “were treated horribly by her,” saying the workplace culture “comes from the top.”
Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge. DeGeneres Sends Emotional Apology to Staff – Variety https://t.co/D0uxOgyyre
— Brad Garrett (@RealBradGarrett) July 31, 2020
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