Ellen fires three top producers amid toxic workplace complaints, calls bullying allegations 'heartbreaking'

The staff had said they had experienced racism and intimidation while working with these three producers and later, allegations of sexual misconduct also surfaced


                            Ellen fires three top producers amid toxic workplace complaints, calls bullying allegations 'heartbreaking'
Ellen DeGeneres, Jonathan Norman, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin and Mary Connelly (Getty Images)

Ellen DeGeneres has fired her top three producers amid complaints about a toxic workplace including sexual misconduct and bullying. The Ellen DeGeneres show relieved producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Johnathan Norman after accusations by former and current staff members, Variety revealed. Insiders have revealed that both Glavin and Leman have also been fired from other shows produced by Ellen called 'Ellen's Game of Games' on NBC. 

On August 17, Ellen shared the news with her staff via a video conference where she described the allegations as "heartbreaking". Ellen spoke to her staff of almost 200 workers and was reportedly very "apologetic". Sources shared that Ellen admitted that she was "not perfect" and said that the show's producers were not sensitive to "human beings" and solely focused on running the show. 

She also revealed that the show had alienated guests and employees by moving around timetables and said that they will stick with their agreed-upon timetables. The staff was also informed that the starting date for Season 18 had been pushed back to September 14. 

Ellen DeGeneres speaks during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images) 

She added that some of her long-running executive producers such as Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt will be continuing their positions on the show. Leman's attorney Michael Plonsker revealed that Leman is "devastated" about being "scapegoated" and called his being fired "shocking". Plonsker issued a statement where he said, "The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man – a popular figure and a creative force behind the 'Ellen' show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen – is shocking."

"Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment," Plonsker added. The Buzzfeed article had revealed claims made by one current and 10 ex-employees who had worked on the Ellen show. The staff had said that they had all experienced racism, fear and intimidation while working with Lassner, Connelly and Glavin. Later, allegations of sexual misconduct also surfaced where dozens of men and women called out Leman, Glavin and Norman for sexual harassment, misconduct or assault. Leman and Norman have denied the claims made against them.

Producers Jonathan Norman, Andy Lassner, Kevin Leman, Ed Glavin and Mary Connelly pose with the award for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment for 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' during The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 26, 2015, in Burbank, California (Getty Images) 

We had earlier reported that an ex-employee of the famous talk show airing since 2003 chose to remain anonymous while sharing their experiences. The former camera assistant spoke on the Brisbane radio show 'Stav, Abby & Matt' and compared the environment on the set of the show to the 2006 movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. 

"I worked there for a little over a year. It's kind of like The Devil Wears Prada. Everyone is trying to make it to the (end of a) year. It's just a badge of honor to have that and have it on your résumé," the ex-staffer said. They also added, "I wasn't even allowed in the same room as her. Most people are told, ‘When Ellen enters the room, you and your entire crew need to leave’. Sometimes her bodyguards come forward first and you kind of see them and you know to leave and that's it."

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