Ellen DeGeneres’ Staff Not Impressed by Her Apology in Season Premiere

Ellen DeGeneres' apology to her current and former talk show employees fell flat on Monday (21Sep20) – they've accused her of using their issues to pump up ratings.

The TV personality returned to her studio to kick off the 18th season of her show and immediately addressed complaints from staffers about the toxicity behind the scenes on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".

Many employees claimed DeGeneres had turned her back on misconduct in the workplace, prompting the "Finding Dory" star to apologise to staff earlier this summer.

Following an investigation, three producers were fired and Ellen insisted she'd be making some changes to improve conditions and the workplace culture, but she waited for the 18th season premiere to address the public about the attack on her reputation as the "be kind lady" – and current and past employees were not happy with the way she started the show.

"Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her," one former employee told Buzzfeed News. "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 of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you're the one suffering?' "

A current employee questioned the timing of the apology, "It's always tactical. The average person will listen to it and make their own choices, but what people don't always take into account is that information is power, and she's sharing it now because it's for premiere week and it's to get viewers back, and that just feels the opposite of what this message is about."

Another former staffer added, "When you're talking about people who have accused her leadership of the seriousness of sexual misconduct, I don't think it's appropriate to have jokes in the monologue."

During her opening monologue, Ellen said, "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 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 and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show…"

"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. The truth is I am that person that you see on TV."

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