BuzzFeed News has published a new article alleging executive producers engaged in rampant sexual misconduct and harassment, just hours after Ellen DeGeneres‘ apology letter sent to her staff was leaked.
Dozens of former employees of Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show have lifted the lid on an alleged culture of bullying and sexual harassment behind-the-scenes.
Just days after it was reported that The Ellen Show was being investigated over claims that the set was “dominated by fear”, a number of former staffers have claimed to Buzzfeed News that sexual misconduct was rampant from executive producers.
Nearly a dozen former employees recalled head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman making sexually explicit comments in the office that were “masked in sarcasm, but not sarcasm”.
“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,” a former employee said.
One male ex-employee recalled Leman allegedly asking if he would touch his genitals or perform oral sex in a bathroom at a 2013 company party, while another recalled seeing Leman grab a production assistant’s penis on a separate occasion.
In May 2017, another former employee said she saw Leman grope a production assistant in a car and kiss his neck.
In a statement after this article published, Leman said he categorically denied “any kind of sexual impropriety.”
“I started at the Ellen Show as a PA more than 17 years ago and have devoted my career to work my way to the position I now hold. While my job as head writer is to come up with jokes — and, during that process, we can occasionally push the envelope — I’m horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense,” he said. “I have always aimed to treat everyone on the staff with kindness, inclusivity and respect. In my whole time on the show, to my knowledge, I’ve never had a single HR or inter-personal complaint made about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be published.”
Among the many allegations brought to BuzzFeed News, five former employees said executive producer Ed Glavin touched them in a way that made them uncomfortable by rubbing their shoulders and back, as well as placing his hand around their lower waist.
BuzzFeed News reports:
Dozens of former employees also said Glavin “had a reputation for being handsy with women,” especially in the control room, and managed the team through fear and intimidation.
“You could definitely see the creep factor and the creepy touching. That was out in the open for everybody to see,” one former employee, who said Glavin regularly touched her in the control room, told BuzzFeed News. “Obviously, no one wants that and no one wants to be uncomfortably touched by someone … but you didn’t want to piss them off or you would be fired, so it was just that culture of fear.”
I have a feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg in this current scandal.
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