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Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Toxic Workplace Reports in Talk Show Return

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

In the first episode of Season 18, Ellen DeGeneres addressed allegations of “toxic” workplace conditions on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her opening monologue back on the Warner Bros. lot touched upon several aspects of the controversy, from the mistreatment of employees to DeGeneres’ aloof disposition on set. To an audience of individual video screens featuring viewers from all over the world, DeGeneres began her apology.

“I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” she stated. “I take that very seriously and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people that were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

Watch the full monologue below:

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DeGeneres went on to confront several crew members’ admissions that the host was not who she appeared to be on TV. “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,” she said. “I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good, that’s my favorite thing to do. That, and Jenga.” DeGeneres’ monologue was sprinkled with similar moments of levity, some of which felt inappropriate given the circumstances.

Warner Bros.’ investigation of The Ellen DeGeneres Show began in July, after Buzzfeed News shared two news stories detailing the show’s “toxic work culture” and sexual harassment allegations. The latter caused WarnerMedia to part with three executive producers named in the report: Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman. The Emmy-winning daytime show has since granted its employees paid time off for birthdays, doctor’s appointments, and family events. But DeGeneres’ well-known “kind lady” persona remains tarnished in the eyes of many viewers.

Despite all this, DeGeneres wrapped up her monologue with hope for the future of her show: “I want to continue to help all of the people that we help every day, and I am committed to making this the best season that we have ever had.”

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