Ellen Producer Andy Lassner Addresses Talk Show Controversy: 'It's Been a Couple of Rough Months'
On Sunday, the television producer, 53, addressed his followers on Instagram, in which he assured he's "back" after recent news that three producers would be departing the show following an investigation. "I’ve missed my people❤️," he captioned the video, returning to the social media platform about a month since his last post.
"Oh look who it is. If it isn't Andy Lassner," Lassner begins the clip, speaking directly into the camera. "Well, yes it is. Your eyes do not deceive you. I'm back. I've been away for a little bit, dealing with — you know, some stuff. You may have read about it."
"It's been a couple of rough months. But it's when we go through these things, I guess, when we learn the most about ourselves, and maybe even some growth," he continued. "But to tell you it hasn't been rough would be a lie, and I've always been honest with you. It's been rough. But I'm back."
Lassner ended the video by telling fans, "I love you guys; I miss you and I'll talk to you soon."
On July 30, Lassner hinted at the public controversy surrounding the Ellen show, writing: "Me: I really think 2020 is gonna turn around and start getting better. 2020: Lol, I’m gonna make your bed the epicenter."
Earlier this month, top producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, parted ways with the show following an internal investigation by WarnerMedia. In an emotional video conference with staff at the time, host Ellen DeGeneres told staff she "wasn't perfect," a source who was on the call told PEOPLE.
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"I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes,” the host, 62, told staffers. “I’m hearing that some people felt that I wasn’t kind or too short with them, or too impatient. I apologize to anybody if I’ve hurt your feelings in any way.”
Another source told PEOPLE that DeGeneres said to her staff that "she’s been dying to see them, that she couldn’t because of the investigation and she really wanted them to hear from her that this is a reset, things are changing and things are going to be better moving forward. And she’s committed to that."
As Glavin, Leman and Norman — who were accused of sexual misconduct by former employees in a BuzzFeed News report — part ways with the show, Stephen "tWitch" Boss has been promoted from DJ to co-executive producer.
Leman and Norman have denied the allegations against them, while Glavin has not publicly addressed them.
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Following Leman's termination from the show, his attorney said the producer "is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment.”
“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," Leman's attorney Michael Plonsker said in a statement to PEOPLE.
In a memo to staff obtained by PEOPLE on July 30, DeGeneres said that she was "disappointed" to learn of the accusations of a toxic work environment on the show.
"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," she began. "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 added that she accepted responsibility and was "committed to ensuring this does not happen again."