Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Controversy About Her Show’s Toxic Work Environment On Season 18 Opener

Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres addressed the controversy surrounding the allegedly toxic work environment on the set of her program on Monday’s episode, saying her name is on the project and she bears full responsibility for everything.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, over the past several months allegations have surfaced saying the set of The Ellen DeGeneres Show is plagued by toxicity. For example, at least one senior member of the show’s staff allegedly sexually harassed employees. Similarly, DeGeneres herself is accused of being unkind, in contrast to the generous and giving persona she projects.

The entire situation prompted an investigation by Warner Bros., who produces the series.

For the Monday, September 21, show, the Season 18 opener, DeGeneres appeared before a virtual audience due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While viewers watched from home over the internet, the host addressed screens bearing their images, while a handful of crew members provided laughter and applause when appropriate.

In the opening monologue, which can be seen in the clip below, the host addressed the matter head-on, using her trademark bit of self-deprecating humor to lighten the mood.

“Oh boy!… If you’re watching because you love me, thank you. If you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome,” she joked, while the virtual audience and those few people inside the room laughed and applauded.

“How was everybody’s summer? Good?” she continued, a joking reference to the fact that the allegations that are now clouding her brand emerged in the past few months.

“Mine was great,” she said sarcastically, giving a forced, awkward smile and a thumbs-up to the cameras.

She then went on to speak directly about the elephant in the room, joking that she’s been eager to talk to others about it, but that speaking to people in person has been “illegal” for that past few months.

DeGeneres went on to admit there have been allegations of a toxic work environment, followed by an investigation.

“I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” she said, adding that she takes this “very seriously” and that she wanted to apologize to the people who were affected.

She went on to note that, at the end of the day, her name is on the brand: the show, the studio, even the underwear sold in the gift shop. As such, she bears full responsibility for what happens.

She also spoke directly to the suggestions that she’s not as kind as her image would suggest. She said that she is, in fact, the person she portrays on TV. Also, however, she sometimes gets sad, angry, or impatient, just like any other human. For the times when her human failings have negatively affected those around her, she apologized.

Moving forward, DeGeneres said she and her team have made the “necessary changes” and a “new chapter” begins today. She did not specify what those changes were.

She concluded by speaking to her DJ and now co-executive producer, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who encouraged her and noted that he looks forward to bringing laughter, love, and fun back into the universe.

“It’s all love,” they both said.