“This is a time in the world where people need to see no matter how much power you have, no matter what title or position you are in, and if you think you’re untouchable, it can be gone in a flash,” the employee said. “It’s going to be a hard lesson. It’s a hard lesson for all of us.”
Without much clarity about findings from WarnerMedia’s ongoing internal investigation, updates on the employment statuses of executive producers, or DeGeneres’s return, employees said they’re also “very afraid of losing our jobs” while people in leadership positions “will be financially fine, essentially.”
“They have enough to retire or to disappear without any further ramifications, meanwhile the lower-level employees might be without a paycheck that we really need in a pandemic,” one employee said. “It’s really tough to sacrifice that for the truth to be out there, but people think the truth really matters.”
Another employee said they and their colleagues had dedicated their careers to the show despite the alleged abuses, only to possibly be left with nothing if the show is canceled.
“And I just think that’s very selfish from somebody who blasted ‘be kind to one another’ every day.”
Moriah Burton, an employee in Ellen Digital Ventures, sent an email to the entire Ellen staff and Warner Bros. HR representatives on Friday, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, addressing the fact that “the work day is almost over and there is no company-wide communication on the sexual harassment allegations or about the rumors that the show is going to be canceled.” Burton wrote that employees “need communication from someone at the top,” referencing Variety’s April story about lack of communication when the coronavirus quarantine began.
“What was one of the first pieces of bad press about this year? It was about a lack of communication when we transitioned to work-from-home because of the pandemic,” Burton wrote.
“We’ve seen a lot of people make statements about wanting to do better. Promising to do better, to learn from the mistakes of the past. I want to believe that this is possible too.”
Burton continued, “Today was an opportunity for us as a company to prove that we have learned from that mistake, and that we care about our employees. It’s time to say something.”