Ellen DeGeneres kicked off the season premiere of her show with a much-anticipated apology. However, it didn’t quite go as planned. Shortly after posting the video, the backlash came flooding in. It appears as though people didn’t appreciate the jokes in her apology.
Today we’re starting a new chapter. pic.twitter.com/PvpZXnXLv5
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 21, 2020
The talk show host posted a tweet of the monologue on Monday saying, “Today we’re starting a new chapter.”
While Ellen’s intentions of the tweet might’ve been good, the current and former employees didn’t exactly see it that way. In the monologue, she comes across very light-hearted and made several jokes during the apology.
DeGeneres starts off by asking the audience how their summer was and sarcastically responds by stating, “Mine was great. Super terrific.” Apologizing for the allegations she says, “As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned things that happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say that 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.”
Several people questioned just how serious Ellen takes the allegations after making her apology more of a joking matter than anything else.
A joke that didn’t sit well for people, in particular, was about how she is recognized as the ‘be-kind lady’. She explains, “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.”
DeGeneres explains, “The truth is, I am that person you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all that. I am a work in progress. And I am especially working on the impatience thing. And it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough. I will tell you that.”
Twitter users were unsure whether they felt her apology was sincere.
Yall buying it?🤨🤨 https://t.co/uib7lKa3Ew
— Zach (@zachcamacho1) September 21, 2020
Don't buy it at all. She delivered the scripted apology that I imagined she would. What about the waitress with chipped nail polish that she tried to get fired, or the autistic janitor who was fired for saying "good morning." Too many cruel incidents. #boycottellen
— Terry Dockter (@terrydpirate) September 21, 2020
The million dollar opener, written and directed by public relations crisis consultants. 🤮
— Champ (@cannequity) September 21, 2020
See how forces the claps to suit her mood making jokes still at other expense will be a short series and the end to the Ellen bs 17 year train wreck
— easifcukr (@easifcukr) September 21, 2020
She pushes it off the side so easy like she never knew like really? Cancel
— Soos Ramirez (@SoosRamirez5) September 22, 2020
Way to dodge the blame even while “taking responsibility” it wasn’t that “things happened on your show” it was that YOU were mean and nasty to people. YOU. SPECIFICALLY 😒
— Theo Ira Kemp (@TheMaximumRed) September 21, 2020
While others came to Ellen’s defense reiterating that well no one’s perfect.
Some people think that celebrities doesn’t make mistakes, they are not God. They are human being like us. All human being has flaws and we can’t be loved by everyone. Some will talk. It takes only strong minds to apologise and she did it. Rebuild and we’re waiting for your shows.
— peter N Ayadiegwu (@petcaution) September 22, 2020
Anyone else seeing this & actually want to cry? I feel so bad for her. None of us are ever perfect & we all make poor & awful decisions but we shouldn't completely assassinate someone else's good character & write them off completely.
— ~lauz (@paris_rivierra) September 21, 2020
These fans defended Ellen by clapping back at negative comments.
How about you just admit that she was human like the restof us and sometimes we get a distorted view about something we didn’t see ourselves or even see ourselves given the ever present biases we have.. stop pretending your prefect..
— Clyde (@LurkerClyde) September 21, 2020
U mean she had bad days and was being a boss and got on to her workers for not doing there job…Didn’t know u were perfect because u must be if I are judging her
— Misty Ryan (@shihtzumom1101) September 21, 2020
While this fan, is just excited to see what Ellen has in store for her new season.
You are such a strong person love you, glade for season 18
— Bonnie Lopez (@Bontheboop) September 22, 2020
Back in July, employees and people on the show shared their experience with The Ellen Show. After many people accused the show of having a hostile work environment, people on social media wanted to boycott the show and ‘cancel’ Ellen. Cancel culture has become very popular and Ellen DeGeneres was just another celebrity to be added to the list of being ‘canceled’.
The Toxic Work Environment
BuzzFeedNews interviewed some of the show’s former employees and one current employee. All of the employees noted microaggressions in the workplace as well as an overall not pleasant environment.
Fingers were pointed to DeGeneres’ executive producers, Andy Lassner, Ed Galvin, Mary Connelly, for most of the toxic environment but employees believe that Ellen should take responsibility for what happens on her show.
“Some of the producers talk openly in public about addiction and mental health awareness, but they’re the reason there is a stigma. They definitely don’t practice what they preach with the ‘be kind’ mantra.” one employee told BuzzFeed News.
The employee took one-month medical leave for a suicide attempt but when the employee returned they were told that their position had been removed.
Another worker was in a car accident and had two family funerals in one year. If that isn’t hard enough they had difficulties taking time off from work with HR. After that, the former employee was fired. They had medical records and five former employees back up their story.
The former worker stating that’s what they think a toxic work environment is, “That’s the definition of a toxic work environment, where they make you feel like you’re going insane and then you’re like, no, everything I was feeling was right. It was all leading up to this.”
Many employees reported that you receive the most issues when you recognize that the work environment they create is hostile. “‘Be kind to the world. Just not your employees,” one employee commented.
The Employee’s Response
Former employees didn’t appreciate the apology DeGeneres gave after seemingly making light of a bad situation. “Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, our traumas, into a joke, she somehow made this one about her,” a former employee told BuzzFeedNews.
This former employee was offended by her apology right from the beginning. “When she said, ‘Oh, my summer was great’ and that was supposed to be funny I thought, ‘It’s funny that you had a rough summer because everyone was calling out all the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?”
Ed Galvin and Kevin Leman, executive producers, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were fired in August after another investigation from a third-party. The allegations go beyond the toxic work environment. There are also allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct, intimidation, and racism.
In her apology, Ellen explains since the show has started they made the changes they need to with the show. “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, the workplace environment, and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”
Do you agree with the overall response to monologue? Was it inappropriate for Ellen to make jokes in her apology? Was it enough to earn back the trust of her employees and fans?