On Monday, host, and actress Ellen DeGeneres returned to her show for her first episode since her daytime talk show came under investigation for harboring a “toxic” workplace environment. Intent on restoring her sunny reputation, the comedian addressed the allegations head-on with an opening monologue that described her summer as “great” and by issuing an apology that fans have long been waiting for.
Returning to the studio for the show’s season premiere, DeGeneres apologized to those who had been negatively affected while working as part of her staff.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres admitted. “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.” The Finding Doy Star went onto explain that she claims “responsibility for what happens at my show.”
Over the summer, soon after the pandemic broke, various former and current staff members of DeGeneres’ show alleged that they had endured harassment, intimidation and racism.
In a report published by BuzzFeed, former employees claimed that the 32-time Daytime Emmy Award winner’s “be kind” persona was “all for show.” After she and various other senior staffers were accused of fostering a toxic work environment, her show’s parent company WarnerMedia issued an apology. Three of the show’s top producers also made an exit.
In response to the allegations, WarnerMedia addressed concerns at the time saying “Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres take the recent allegations around the show’s workplace culture very seriously.” Soon after, in July, DeGeneres issued an email apology to her team and revealed that an internal investigation had been launched.
On Monday, the host explained that after making “the necessary changes,” she and WarnerMedia “had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, the workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”
She went onto joke about her reputation as the “be kind” lady, and claimed that it is “a tricky position to be in.”
“Being known as the ‘be kind’ lady is a tricky position to be in,” she admitted. “So let me give you some advice out there if anybody’s thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the ‘be kind’ lady. Don’t do it. The truth is I am that person that you see on TV.”
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