Ellen DeGeneres says show is embarking on ‘new chapter’ following ‘toxic workplace’ claims
Ellen DeGeneres says her talk show is embarking on a “new chapter,” following an investigation into allegations of toxic work culture.
The daytime TV host addressed allegations against her show for the first time on-camera during the chatfest’s 18th season premiere on Monday.
“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, 62, said solemnly. “I learned 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 who were affected.”
Today we’re starting a new chapter. pic.twitter.com/PvpZXnXLv5
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 21, 2020
An investigation by Warner Media and an outside firm was reportedly launched over the summer, after a BuzzFeed article detailed claims of racist comments and other abusive behavior from former and current “Ellen” employees.
“We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about our show, our workplace, and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter,” DeGeneres told a “virtual” audience, as the show returned to filming in-studio amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 on my show,” DeGeneres said.
The comedian also addressed reports that, unlike her cheery TV persona, she’s been unkind to her housekeeping staff and restaurant servers.
DeGeneres reminded viewers that she began signing off at the end of each of her shows with the message “be kind” after college student Tyler Clementi committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate filmed a “private encounter” with him and another man in their dorm room.
“It was a reminder that we all needed that, and I think we need it more than ever right now,” DeGeneres said.
“The truth is, I am that person you see on TV,” DeGeneres said, calling herself “a work in progress.”
Noting her acting work, DeGeneres said, “But I don’t think I’m that good that I could come out here every day for 17 years and fool you.”
“This has been a horrible summer for people all around the world,” DeGeneres continued, saying people are losing their jobs and lives because of COVID-19.
“There’s blatant racial injustice all around us. I watch the news and I feel like, where do we even begin?” DeGeneres said. “So my hope is that we can still be a place of happiness and joy.”