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Ellen DeGeneres addresses allegations of toxic work environment

Ellen DeGeneres addresses allegations of toxic work environment

Ellen DeGeneres addressed the workplace misconduct allegations against her and her team in a monologue that opened season 18 of her U.S. TV chat show.

Ellen DeGeneres addresses allegations of toxic work environment

The Ellen DeGeneres Show host has been at the centre of a scandal after BuzzFeed News published a report in July which detailed staffers’ negative experiences on the Ellen set, including claims of being penalised for taking medical leave, instances of racial micro-aggressions, and fear of retribution for raising complaints.

After previously revealing she would “talk about it” on her show, Ellen addressed the claims she presided over a “toxic” workplace culture in the premiere episode of the latest series on Monday.

“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,” she said as she opened the show.

“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 realised that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

The comedian went on to say that the latest season represents the start of a “new chapter” for everyone working on the show, following an investigation that resulted in the dismissal of three producers.

Ellen also addressed allegations that behind-the-scenes she fails to live up to her “be kind” catchphrase – which she adopted while pleading with viewers to treat each other well following the suicide of a bullied gay teen.

“I thought the world needed more kindness and it was a reminder that we all needed that, and I think we need it more than ever right now,” she explained. “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.”

No audience was in attendance due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but according to People magazine, Ellen’s wife Portia de Rossi was on hand to support her on set, and her crew applauded at the end of the speech.

– Reuters

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