Newly-minted co-executive producer Stephen “tWitch” Boss is also set to guest-host episodes during the upcoming season.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show nodded to multiple reports of a toxic workplace culture in its announcement of its Season 18 premiere on Tuesday.
“I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio. And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it,” DeGeneres herself said in a statement. The show will return on Monday, Sept. 21st, and will be filmed at the Warner Bros. lot but without an in-studio audience.
Newly-minted co-executive producer Stephen “tWitch” Boss is also set to guest-host episodes during the new season, the show announced, while not specifying when Boss will host.
Tiffany Haddish will return to the show as a guest for the premiere, while Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin and Chrissy Teigen are also set to appear in the first week of the season.
The news comes a few weeks after WarnerMedia announced that the Emmy-winning daytime talk show was parting ways with executive producer Ed Glavin, head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman amid reports of a high-stress work environment with high turnover and retribution for taking medical and bereavement leave at the seemingly upbeat show. The company opened a workplace misconduct investigation in late July after Buzzfeed News published two reports about a “toxic work culture” and sexual misconduct on the Burbank set of the show.
While the reports led some stars, including Jay Leno and Katy Perry, to defend DeGeneres, The Hollywood Reporter was able to corroborate the initial Buzzfeed story’s allegations of an unpleasant working environment with former employees. “They [the executive producers] do not strive to make a happy environment,” one source told THR, noting that former executive producer Glavin had a temper that “fed into the ‘walking on eggshells’ feelings within the walls of the show.”
In addition to the staffing changes on the show made in mid-August, WarnerMedia has restructured its television division such that the production company overseeing Ellen, Telepictures, has been consolidated with other TV labels. Additionally, Ellen DeGeneres Show employees have been given additional benefits in the wake of the Buzzfeed stories, including five days’ paid vacation time, birthdays off and paid time off for doctors’ appointments and family events.