Ellen: “We are starting a new chapter”

"I take responsibility", says Ellen DeGeneres as she addresses allegations in her season premiere.

Ellen DeGeneres has addressed allegations of a toxic workplace in her opening monologue for Season 18.

The US talk host was back on the studio but with audience members zooming via enlarged TV screens.

“If you’re watching, because you love me, thank you,” DeGeneres said. “If you’re watching it because you don’t love me, welcome. How was everybody’s summer? Good. Yeah, mine was great. Terrific. I’m so happy to be back in the studio. There are a lot of things I want to talk about. I’ve been looking forward to addressing it all directly and unfortunately talking directly to people has been illegal for six months.

“As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show,” she continued. “And then there was an investigation. 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 who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power. I realised that with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there. My name is there. My name is on underwear. We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes. And today we are starting a new chapter.”

Three staff were dismissed from the show following a Warner Media investigation.

“There were also articles in the press and on social media that said that I am not who I appear to be on TV because I became known as the ‘Be Kind Lady,'” she continued. “And here’s how that happened. I started saying ‘be kind to one another’ after a young man named Tyler Clemente took his own life after being bullied for being gay. I thought the world needed more kindness. And it was a reminder that we all needed that. And I think we need it more than ever right now. 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.'”

“The truth is I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. I sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress and I’m especially working on the impatience thing because, and it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough. I am a talk show host and you know that. But maybe some of you know I was an actress. I’ve played a straight woman in movies. So I’m a pretty good actress. I don’t think that I’m that good that I could come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me. And my intention is to always be the best person I can be. And if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that. If that’s ever the case, I have let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well, because I always try to grow as a person. I look at everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn. I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good.

“Now I am a boss of 270 people, 270 people who help make this show. I want is for every single one of them to be happy and to be proud to work here. This has been a horrible summer for people all around the world. People are losing their jobs. People are losing loved ones to a pandemic. People are losing their homes and lives in raging fires that are going on. There’s blatant racial injustice all around us. I watched the news and I feel like where, where do we even begin? So my hope is that we can still be a place of happiness and joy. I still want to be the one hour a day that people can go to escape and laugh. I want to continue to help all the people that we help every day. And I’m committed to making this the best season that we have ever had.”

The Ellen DeGeneres Show premieres in Australia at 12pm on Nine and 7:30pm today on FOX Arena.

24 Responses

  1. interesting that people wanting to believe the negative rumours are not able to substantiate any of them, or am i wrong? does anyone making these comments actually work in the industry in the USA? no, then you do not know, and no neither do i for sure but how about innocent until proven guilty?? Just really don’t know how you can really know what you’re talking about when you do not even live in the same country.

    1. Yes, it is interesting that people wanting to believe the negative rumours are not able to substantiate any of them but where there’s a lot of smoke, no doubt there’s a fire! Too many people speaking out against Ellen and the producers (and not all anonymous) for to me to take an ‘innocent until proven guilty approach to this. Innocent before guilt? meh… this is not a court of law, it is the court of public opinion. Of course we don’t work in the industry, of course we weren’t there, most of the population doesn’t/wasn’t so I find it a little funny that’s your argument.

  2. “And if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that. if that’s ever the case..” She won’t just take responsibility on camera and say “I’m sorry for letting people down”, it has to be ifs. Combined with making jokes about the entire situation, this apology is just terrible.. the initial statement she released to the crew was far better worded and more direct.

  3. I made a conscious decision to watch this today. I made some beautiful ham and tomato sandwiches and relaxed into the sofa. Apology aside the opening episode for Season 18 was a yawn fest. I would have thought with everything that has occurred with Ellen during the last few months she might have had an A lister on. Who is Tiffany Haddish? “You’re the best, you know I love you and I support you 110%” was vomit inducing. Thankfully this didn’t occur as I chomped down on my ham and tomato sandwich.

  4. On air Talent get paid handsomely. And as the old saying goes “gotta keep the talent happy”. But the problem is, when no one is keeping them in check with their behaviour, they can become monsters. They can become spoilt and ungrateful. If the talent’s in a bad mood, it affects literally everyone around them. Everyone has bad days, but we all have to keep our behaviour in check when we get to work. And they should too. Talent can make a choice about what kind of atmosphere they want to create in the workplace. And some choose to let the power go to their head and not care about everyone else. Shame, because it doesn’t have to be that way.

  5. Well played, what an impressive bit of spin. She’s actually saying that she had no idea and that she’s only responsible by association and all she ever did was be sad sometimes. Kinda makes you forget the bullying allegations, hey!

  6. It is an impressive speech I just hope there have been substantive changes to go with it. I suppose only time will tell, either there will be more complaints or things will finally settle down. If people are willing to rectify mistakes we have to give them a chance otherwise nobody world ever try and nothing would ever change.

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