Ellen DeGeneres addresses toxic workplace in first show of new season
Ellen DeGeneres, host of a self titled hit syndicated talk show, has apologized and said she takes responsibility for what an investigation found allegedly happened behind the scenes at the show.
“As you may have heard, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should’ve happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say that I’m so sorry to the people who were affected,” she said at the beginning of her Season 12 premiere on Sept. 21, 2020.
“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said.
DeGeneres made those statements after lighting poking fun at herself and the show’s roller coaster of a summer.
She also targeted what she called a common thread of messaging about how she and the show do not promote the “be kind” tagline she typically ends each show with, acknowledge that while she considers herself kind, she is also, like any other person, capable of a wide range of emotions, including anger, impatiences and anxiety.
“I am working on all of that,” she said during the show, noting she considers herself a “work in progress.”
Earlier this summer, “Ellen” axed three of its top producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
Some said those men were “scapegoats” of the scandal, though others noted that senior management, including those producers, were commonly seen as the main problem, which includes mistreatment ranging from reportedly racism, sexism and sexual misconduct.
That said, while all three of the former staffers cannot comment due to non-disclosure agreements, Leman’s attorney did issue a statement saying that his client is the victim of a “deeply flawed” article, referring to the BuzzFeed News article that initially sparked the controversy (although rumblings of DeGeneres’ own treatment of staff have been circulating for much of her career).
Also on Monday’s show, DeGeneres DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who is black, has been promoted to co-executive producer and will have “more of a voice,” in his words, both behind the scenes and on camera.
The video of her monologue is embedded below, though at least some parts of the world appear to be having issues loading the clip, though it’s not clear what the issue is.