How Will Investigation Into ‘Toxic’ Work Environment Impact Ellen DeGeneres?’ Brand?

Ellen DeGeneres’ brand is built on the phrase, “be kind,” and now that WarnerMedia has launched a probe into the reportedly “toxic work environment” she has created at her eponymous show, experts say her career may be doomed.

Rumors of her bullying of staffers went viral on social media after a BuzzFeed investigation that included interviews with 10 current and former staffers, prompting the investigation, and though she has been surrounded by A-Listers and has received incredible accolades like the Presidential Medal of Freedom, no one is speaking out on her behalf. Her list of powerful pals includes Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Oprah Winfrey.

Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, tells Fox: “She could be perpetrating one of the biggest frauds in American celebrity history. There are now serious investigators looking into the allegations and if the findings are as damning as what has been reported then you could watch the Ellen Show go boom.”

Meanwhile, the allegations of a “toxic work environment” were addressed by the show’s executive producers Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner and Mary Connelly in a statement to Buzzfeed at the time of the outlet’s report. They took the blame themselves.

“We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience,” they said. “It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.”

The statement explained that the “day to day responsibility of the… show is completely on” the producers.

But some say that won’t stick. Schiffer said: “I think Ellen has been arrogant in her entire approach in dealing with the allegations and it’s crazy for her not to accept responsibility for what is happening under her leadership. In Hollywood, the buck stops at the star’s name on the door, not at the producer level. It would be impossible for her to not know what [was] happening within her own staff.”