Ellen DeGeneres, 62, kept a low profile while taking a stroll in Los Angeles with a friend on Aug. 2. It was the first time that the comedienne was photographed since making headlines for an investigation, which began in July, into the workplace environment on her daytime talk show. Ellen rocked a white t-shirt and shorts, along with sunglasses and a hat for the outing, but her incognito look didn’t stop paparazzi from catching a few photos.
An investigation into the alleged workplace misconduct on The Ellen DeGeneres Show began after BuzzFeed News published a piece with allegations from one current employee (unnamed) and 10 unnamed former employees in mid-July. None of the allegations actually involved Ellen herself. However, many of the employees called for the 62-year-old to take responsibility for the alleged mistreatment since the show boasts her name.
This led Ellen to write a lengthy apology to her staff members, which was published our sister site, Variety, on July 30. In her memo to her employees, she made it clear that she hopes to improve things on set in the future. “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 wrote. “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.”
She added that an “internal investigation” had already begun to “correct the issues” and that she’s “committed to ensuring” that things change. “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,” she continued. “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 look at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.”
Ellen concluded her message by vowing to “learn and grow” from this, while also thanking employees for bringing these issues to her attention. “I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world,” she ended. “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.”