Ellen DeGeneres has built a reputation in California for her charm and friendly demeanor. However, new claims of misconduct and sexual harassment by upper-level executives who work on her talk show have put a black eye on daytime TV’s “queen of nice.”
Many of the claims seem to revolve around Kevin Leman, who has been a part of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for nearly two decades. Leman currently serves as the show’s head writer and is listed as an executive producer.
According to multiple former employees, Leman has made numerous sexual comments and advances toward male employees of the show. These advances allegedly included one incident where Leman grabbed a former production assistant’s genitals. In addition to the physical violations, Leman has allegedly made multiple inappropriate comments to male employees, often in front of large groups.
Leman has vehemently denied the allegations against him, citing his 17-year tenure on one of television’s most popular shows. He claims that as a head writer, he’s responsible for writing jokes, some of which can “push the envelope.” Leman states that he is “horrified that any of his attempts at humor may have caused offense.”
In a recently published article, 36 former employees corroborated one or more of the claims against Leman. However, each of the former employees only responded on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.
Warner Brothers, the production company behind “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” has yet to release an official statement on the claims against Leman. However, the studio has announced that it is conducting an investigation to determine the validity of the claims.
If you’ve been the target of harassment in the workplace, consider reaching out to an employment law attorney. The lawyer may ask for detailed accounts of the harassment, interview other employees and review previous claims against your company if any exist. At that point, the attorney can better help you pursue justice.