Major changes are being made to The Ellen Degeneres Show amid the handful of sexual harassment allegations that have been revealed over the last several weeks. According to Variety, three of the show’s top senior producers have been fired.
Executive producers, Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have all been asked to leave the show by Warner Brothers following an independent investigation into the claims made by several former employees of the daytime talk show. Variety also reported that sources say Leman and Glavin are also out as producers on her other shows as well.
Warner Bros. Fires 3 ‘Ellen Degeneres’ Show Senior Producers
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, BuzzFeed’s Krystie Lee Yandoli was the first to report on the claims against several producers of the show. In her reports, Yandoli said she had spoken to “36 former employees who described an environment on the show of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.”
“Former employees said that this culture started with executive producer Ed Glavin – that he would touch them inappropriately in the control room and make them feel uncomfortable, that generally, he led with fear and intimidation,” Yandoli explained in an interview with NPR.
The reporter continued saying she was also told that head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman also “groped them, touched them inappropriately and made sexually explicit comments in the office and at office parties as well as a former employee who told me that executive producer John Norman groomed him over a period of time and then also made an unwanted sexual advance on him.”
And although it was reported by E! News that fellow executive producers Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner were also accused of workplace misconduct, Lassner, Connelly, and Derek Westervelt have not been let go. As Variety reports, Lassner, Connelly, and Westervelt have been apart of the show since it’s beginning in 2003.
Since his termination, Leman’s lawyer, Michael Plonsker, has issued a statement, in which he maintains his client’s innocence.
“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.”
Current staff members were made aware of the changes on August 17 via a video call where Ellen Degeneres spoke to her team directly. Sources told Variety that Degeneres told her staff that she was “not perfect” and said that in an effort to run the show like a “well-oiled machine,” some of the leaders were not as sensitive to “human beings” as they should have been. She went on to admit that reading the disturbing allegations about the atmosphere on the show was “heartbreaking” for her.
Degeneres also revealed that Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who DJ’s for the show, was promoted to co-executive producer. Additionally, Connelly and Lassner also spoke at the meeting and addressed the results of the studio’s internal investigation. However, the specifics were not made public.
According to Variety, the host ended the meeting by telling her remaining staff that “this will be the best season we’ve ever had.”
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