“Ellen DeGeneres Show” Execs Accused of Sexual Misconduct
More bad news for the Ellen show
Dozens of former staffers on the troubled “Ellen DeGeneres Show” have accused top execs at the program of sexual misconduct in the workplace.
BuzzFeed News broke the accusations Thursday, in a report that involved commentary from 36 former employees, many of whom complained of incidents of sexual harassment and assault during their time working on the show.
Allegations against head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman claim the exec asked for a hand job and oral sex from an employee at a company event back in 2013. Others claim to have seen Leman grope and kiss production assistants, while other accusations against Leman allege he made inappropriate comments about employees’ crotches and asked questions like, “Are you a top or a bottom?”
“It’s masked in sarcasm, but it’s not sarcasm,” a former employee told BuzzFeed.
Leman has denied the allegations, saying, “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.”
Accusations also surfaced against executive producer Ed Glavin who reportedly “had a reputation for being handsy with women,” as multiple former staffers told BuzzFeed News.
“You could definitely see the creep factor and the creepy touching. That was out in the open for everybody to see,” said one former employee, who claimed Glavin frequently touched her in the control room. “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.”
Other allegations have been leveled against co-executive producer Jonathan Norman, who has been accused of trying to perform oral sex on a former employee. Norman has emphatically denied the allegations, telling BuzzFeed News, “The person I believe you are referring to has ulterior motives for bringing down the show and has been acting with malice towards the show.”
The sexual harassment allegations come as the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” is already facing scrutiny for fostering a “toxic” work culture, including allegations of racism and intimidation.
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