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Ellen Finally Talks On-Air About Those Toxic Workplace Allegations

Ellen Finally Talks On-Air About Those Toxic Workplace Allegations

Ellen Finally Talks On-Air About Those Toxic Workplace Allegations

The longtime host's self-titled talk show returned to the air after months of controversy.


After months of controversy, the 18th season of Ellen DeGeneres' longrunning daytime talk show returned to production today, and with the premiere came the TV icon finally opening up on the air about the allegations made by former employees that the show was a toxic environment to work in.

"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 said in the episode's opening statement. "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." 

She continued: 

"We have 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." 

"Being known as the 'be kind' lady is a tricky position to be in. 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."

Earlier this year, a BuzzFeed News report detailed accounts from ex-employees that described a culture of fear, racism, sexual harassment, and intimidation on the talk show (that has been on the air since 2003), mainly from the show's executives and producers. The report shares pay discrepancies dismissed by higher-ups, repeated cases of racial insensitivities, and even an account of a producer joking about confusing Black employees. 

While no accusations were pointed at Ellen herself, in a staff memo that The Hollywood Reporter published in late July, DeGeneres took responsibility for the toxicity that was created on the set of her show and vowed to help fix those wrongs. 

After WarnerMedia, the Ellen DeGeneres Show's parent company, launched an internal investigation into the allegations about the show's workplace culture, three executive producers parted ways with production, according to THR

"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," she wrote in her letter. "That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again."

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