Ellen show producer Jonathan Norman groomed worker, showered gifts on him before attempting oral sex: Report

New reports have said that colleagues of the ex-staffer claimed that the executive producer took him to concerts and gave him various perks


                            Ellen show producer Jonathan Norman groomed worker, showered gifts on him before attempting oral sex: Report
Ellen DeGeneres, Jonathan Norman (Getty Images)

Hours after Ellen DeGeneres apologized to staff in an open letter following allegations of toxic working conditions on her show, Buzzfeed published an extensive report where several of the talk show's producers and showrunners were accused of sexual misconduct. One of the names on the list was of show’s co-executive producer, Jonathan Norman.

According to the report, Norman allegedly sexually ‘groomed’ a former employee by taking him to concerts and giving him multiple gifts and perks before attempting to perform oral sex on him. According to three ex-employees of the 36 that spoke to the outlet, the unidentified victim, who was their former colleague, had reported the incident to them just after it had taken place.

"We’re young people who were forming our careers and were unfortunately subjected to a toxic work environment at some of our first jobs out of college," one of the former employees said. "And some of us were sexually harassed and that’s what was shaping our careers our first year out of school."

Although DeGeneres did not take names, she insinuated in her apology letter that senior-level executives would be fired over allegations that they presided over a toxic work environment. She said that she took overall responsibility for the previous allegations of bullying, racism, verbal abuse, and other forms of intimidation that staffers alleged that they faced on her show, adding that certain steps would be taken to ensure that the issues are corrected. 

(Getty Images)

"As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done," DeGeneres wrote. "Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again."

Warner Bros released a statement to BuzzFeed News on July 30 saying it "hoped to determine the validity and extent of publicly reported allegations and to understand the full breadth of the show’s day-to-day culture. It was important to both Warner Bros and Ellen that as many people as possible attached to the program could be heard. 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' is, and has always strived to be, a place that brings positivity to the world. And 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, and are taking the first steps to implement them."

Executives from producer Telepictures and distributor Warner Bros Television sent a memo to staffers last week saying they have engaged WBTV-owner WarnerMedia’s employee relations group and a third-party firm to probe into the allegations of workplace issues after the reportedly poor conditions at the show were exposed. In April, a Variety story highlighted the treatment of crew members during the coronavirus lockdown and in mid-July, BuzzFeed's full-blown report cast light on the rampant racism and intimidation on the show. As per reports, the memo came from the desks of Telepictures executive vice president Donna Redier Linsk and WBTV vice president of human resources Donna Hancock Husband. Meanwhile, a third-party consultant is also involved but the name isn't clear as of now.

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