LOS ANGELES (AP) – Ellen DeGeneres says she will be ready to talk when her day show returns this month following a shake up from staff prompted by allegations of a toxic workplace.
“I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio. And yes, we’re going to talk about it, ”DeGeneres said in a statement announcing the show on September 21 of the 18th season.
Tiffany Haddish will join DeGeneres for the kick-off episode, recording “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Warner Bros. minus a studio audience, which is common during the pandemic.
The first month’s high profile guest list reads like a rebuttal to questions about how DeGeneres and her show are seen in the industry amid the controversy that tarnishes the host’s friendly image.
Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin and Chrissy Teigen are set for the first week, with Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Adam Sandler and Orlando Bloom appearing later in September, the show said.
Stephen “tWitch” Boss, a regular guest DJ on the show and one of those who have publicly supported DeGeneres, will guest host some of the fall episodes.
Last month, three of the show’s producers left the stage over allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harbored misconduct, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive comments.
An internal company investigation into working conditions was prompted by a BuzzFeed News report in July based on 36 interviews with ex-employees who complained about or reported witnessing improper and unfair treatment. The people who made the claims were not identified.
When DeGeneres told staffers about the changes in a video conference, she reportedly said she found claims about the show’s environment to be “ heartbreaking. ”
The comedian and presenter had sent a memo to her staff after the BuzzFeed report, recalling her early promise to create a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect.” Something has changed, she said, “and I’m sorry.”
In a July statement, Warner Bros. that parent company WarnerMedia’s investigation revealed what it called “some shortcomings in the day-to-day management of the show.”
While not all allegations were upheld, the studio said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation pointed out some shortcomings in the day-to-day management of the show.”
No details were specified at the time and Warner Bros. had no further comments last month, other than confirming the departure of the producers.