In a new report, dozen of employees from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” have accused their executive producers of sexual harassment. Executive producer Kevin Leman is reportedly one of the high ranking employees that has allegedly used his power to behave inappropriately with the staff.
On Friday, BuzzFeed released an article in which several former staff members claimed Leman would make sexually explicit comments and touch employees.
While one former staff member told the outlet that they saw Leman grab an assistant’s penis, another claimed the head writer asked him, “if he could give him a handjob or perform oral sex in a bathroom” during a company party in 2013.
Leman has been accused of pointing out bulges in a staff member’s private area and making sexually explicit comments such as, “Are you a top or a bottom?”
One former staff member said, “It’s masked in sarcasm, but it’s not sarcasm.”
The ex-employees revealed that Leman often targeted young staff members or those with less authority who wouldn’t report his behavior.
“He’d probably do it in front of 10 people, and they’d laugh because ‘it’s just Kevin being Kevin,’ but if you’re in a position of power at a company, you don’t just get to touch me like that,” a former employee said.
After the article was published, Lehman issued a statement that denied the allegations made against him. “While my job as head writer is to come up with jokes — and, during that process, we can occasionally push the envelope — I’m horrified that some of my attempts at humor may have caused offense,” he said.
“I have always aimed to treat everyone on the staff with kindness, inclusivity, and respect. In my whole time on the show, to my knowledge, I’ve never had a single HR or inter-personal complaint made about me, and I am devastated beyond belief that this kind of malicious and misleading article could be published.”
Earlier this month, WarnerMedia launched an investigation into “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” after several current and former employees spoke out about an allegedly toxic work environment.