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Ellen Apologizes On Air For Toxic Workplace Allegations & Vows To Start “New Chapter”

“The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things,” DeGeneres said.

Ellen DeGeneres steps on stage for the first time since allegations of a toxic workplace emerged over the summer | YouTube/ The Ellen Show
Ellen DeGeneres steps on stage for the first time since allegations of a toxic workplace emerged over the summer | YouTube/ The Ellen Show

Ellen DeGeneres publicly addressed allegations of a toxic workplace at her show as well as claims that her public “be kind” persona is much different than how she behaves off camera.

On Monday, DeGeneres released a video online of her opening monologue for the show’s season 18 premiere in front of a virtual audience.  

“I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” DeGeneres said. “I take this very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”

“I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” DeGeneres continued. “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.”

In July, BuzzFeed News released an explosive report about the toxic environment at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” with several former and current employees accusing senior producers of perpetuating an abusive workplace. 
 
Former and current staffers alleged that they were told by management not to look at or address DeGeneres around the office. Several future reports corroborated their accounts. 

WarnerMedia launched an investigation in late July after the story was published. In August, executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman, along with co-executive producer Jonathan Norman “parted ways” with the show, the entertainment company said. DeGeneres reportedly apologized to her staff after the three producers were ousted, saying “I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes.”

The “Ellen Show” had been on its regularly-scheduled summer hiatus as the reports were published and the investigation was launched. The season premiere is the first video message DeGeneres has given since the allegations. 

DeGeneres said that despite rumors, she is the “‘be kind’ lady” that she portrays on-screen but admitted that it’s been a “tricky position” to be in. 

“The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things,” she continued. “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.” 

DeGeneres also said she was “so grateful for” the 270 people on her staff who “make this show what it is.”

“All I want is for every single one of them to be happy and to be proud to work here,” DeGeneres said. “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.”