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Reports: Internal inquiry launched into alleged toxic work culture at 'Ellen'

The reports come following a BuzzFeed article citing current and former employees about the work environment on the popular daytime talk show.
Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Ellen DeGeneres arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

WarnerMedia has reportedly launched in internal investigation into workplace conditions at "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" following a BuzzFeed report alleging a toxic culture behind the scenes of the popular daytime talk show.

Variety, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter all independently reported the launch of the inquiry. Two of the reports say WarnerMedia, parent company of "Ellen" distributor Warner Bros. TV Distribution, has hired a third-party consultant to interview current and former "Ellen" employees.

"We're declining comment," a WarnerMedia representative told TEGNA when asked for confirmation of the reports.

The BuzzFeed report from July 16 cited one current and 10 former "Ellen" employees who say they were fired for taking medical leave or bereavement days to attend family funerals.

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A Black woman who used to work on the show described to BuzzFeed what she claims were racist comments from co-workers among other forms of discrimination. She claims she was reprimanded for bringing up her concerns, which led her to quit.

Another employee reportedly claimed they started a GoFundMe to pay for medical costs not covered by insurance, but were told by managers to take it down for fear it would hurt DeGeneres' image.

While the former employees reportedly placed the blame on top managers and executive producers, they said DeGeneres needed to "take more responsibility" as the star of the show.

BuzzFeed said the executive producers put out a joint statement saying they take the allegations "very seriously."