Ellen DeGeneres recently ousted multiple top producers in the wake of revelations of a “toxic” workplace behind the scenes of her long-running daytime talk show. She also promised to address those accusations on-air, and she’s keeping that promise. As you can see in the above clip, Ellen talked about the allegations in the opening moments of Monday’s return to her show. It’s now Season 18 for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the host is vowing that “a new chapter” is beginning.
After an (unavoidably) awkward introduction about what a terrible summer this has been, DeGeneres got down to business:
“As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. I want to say I am so sorry to the people who are affected. I know that I am 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. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
DeGeneres also discussed the double-edged sword that her “be kind” mantra turned out to be. She admits that that saying made her “tricky position” even more precarious to navigate, especially when confronted by reports that that she’s a different person behind the scenes than the sunshiney frontwoman exterior led people to believe for years. “The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things,” she admitted. “I am a work in progress, and I am especially working on the impatience thing and it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough. I will tell you that.”
Prior to DeGeneres’ return to air, Howard Stern stated his belief that Ellen should simply embrace being a “prick,” and Steve Harvey urged her to “walk away” (while also siding with the host). Clearly, Ellen isn’t walking away, but this whole fiasco does bring to mind Ellen’s 2018 profile with The New York Times, to which she strongly suggested that she wished to leave building to pursue projects that explore more of her own personality or portray “someone unappealing” on a TV show or movie. Ellen also pointedly stated, “The talk show is me, but I’m also playing a character of a talk-show host. There’s a tiny, tiny bit of difference.” It remains to be seen whether she’ll cut the talk-show persona loose, once and for all, when it’s time for renewed contract negotiations (before 2022).