KEY POINTS

  • Ellen DeGeneres is "mean and incredibly difficult," an insider said in a new report
  • Warner Bros. may face a big legal problem if they ax DeGeneres amid the show's string of controversies
  • DeGeneres apologized to staff but said she was being "misrepresented" by people working with and for her

Ellen DeGeneres' contract with Warner Bros. would be a big obstacle if her bosses decide to fire the talk show host following complaints about her behavior and mistreatment of staff, a report said.

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is currently being investigated by Warner Bros. Television's parent company over former employees' allegations of racism, intimidation and a toxic culture in the workplace. As the investigation continues, staffers are coming forward with testimonies of DeGeneres' responsibility in creating the show's "toxic" environment, a Hollywood source told Page Six.

"Everybody knows Ellen is mean and incredibly difficult. Now that Warners has launched an investigation, there are a lot of employees coming forward with accounts they can’t ignore," the insider said.

The source added that Warner Bros. would not be able to easily ax DeGeneres regardless of any complaint against the host.

"This puts Warners in a difficult position contractually with Ellen — they put hundreds of millions of dollars into their deal with her. If they decide they want her out — which looks increasingly likely — this will be a big legal problem. Plus, she’d never leave without her reputation intact," the source continued.

Aside from their contract, it would also not be easy for Warner Bros. to find someone of DeGeneres' caliber to take over her role.

"The other big problem is there is no replacement for Ellen," the insider added.

Meanwhile, actor Brad Garrett recently called out DeGeneres on Twitter after the host sent a letter of apology to her crew in which she appeared to shift the blame onto producers.

"Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow Know more than one who were treated horribly by her. Common knowledge," the "Fargo" star tweeted on Thursday.

Actress Lea Thompson supported Garrett's claim, responding, "True story. It is."

In the memo obtained by Vanity Fair, DeGeneres apologized for failing to give her staff the "happy" workplace she had in mind. The host said she wanted to give employees an environment where they can freely speak up and feel safe when doing so. The 62-year-old comedian also assured them that steps were being taken to fix the show's "issues."

DeGeneres, however, laid the blame for the allegations on the producers.

"My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that," the host wrote. "Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again."

She continued, "I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop."

Ellen DeGeneres Ellen DeGeneres attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California. Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic