Brad Garrett Claims Mistreatment by Ellen DeGeneres Is 'Common Knowledge' After Host's Apology
On Thursday, the daytime talk show host, 62, issued an apology to the staff members of The Ellen DeGeneres Show after reports from former employees described the workplace environment as "toxic." The show is undergoing an internal investigation by WarnerMedia, and DeGeneres sent a lengthy memo, in which she said she is "glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention" and that they are "taking steps ... to correct" them.
"Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show," DeGeneres began her message, which was obtained by PEOPLE.
After reports of the comedian's apology made headlines, however, Everybody Loves Raymond alum Garrett, 60, claimed on Twitter that DeGeneres bears responsibility for the workplace culture.
"Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow," he wrote, tagging DeGeneres. "Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge."
Garrett, who appeared as a guest on her talk show six times between 2004 and 2007, did not detail any specific allegations against DeGeneres. A rep for Garrett did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for further comment.
DeGeneres has not yet responded to Garrett.
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In her memo to employees, DeGeneres claimed responsibility for the actions of her producer team toward subordinates and promised change to improve the day-to-day environment.
"I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again," she wrote.
DeGeneres went on to say that some people she works with have been speaking on her behalf and misrepresenting her.
"I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me," said DeGeneres. "It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice."
The talk show host then said she is "glad the issues" were brought to her attention, and she is promising to do her "part" in pushing herself and others "to learn and grow."
"We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so," said the comedian.
She concluded: "I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then. Stay safe and healthy. Love, Ellen."
In a statement from Warner Bros. on Thursday, the network said it "interviewed dozens of current and former employees about the environment" of the show and were "disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management."
Moving forward, Warner Bros. said they have "identified several staffing changes, along with appropriate measures to address the issues that have been raised, and are taking the first steps to implement them.”
“Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres are all committed to ensuring a workplace based on respect and inclusion. We are confident this course of action will lead us to the right way forward for the show,” the statement concluded.
"Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment," they said in a joint statement to BuzzFeed News. "We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience."
"It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us," they added at the time. "For the record, the day-to-day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us. We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better."