by Giselle Morales (@gmorales1110)
LOS ANGELES, CA – Capping off its 18th season, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” returned on Monday, Sept. 21 and began with the host addressing the recent allegations of a toxic work environment.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there was not an in-studio audience but DeGeneres was able to joke with her virtual attendees before moving on to address the accusations.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were accusations of a toxic workplace at our show, and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres said during the show. “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.”
The investigation was spurred by numerous articles that detailed the alleged workplace toxicity, including the initial article which was published by Buzzfeed News where current and past employees claimed that they faced discrimination and mistreatment mainly at the hands of three of the show’s executive producers.
According to an article published by the New York Times amidst the investigation the show parted ways with three of its producers which include Ed Glavin, Jonathan Norman and Kevin Leman.
During Monday’s premiere, DeGeneres also took responsibility and acknowledged that she was in a “position of privilege and power”.
“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,” DeGeneres said.
She also addressed rumors that she was not who she appeared to be on television, as many people have often associated DeGeneres with her famous slogan “Be Kind to One Another”, which she says at the end of every show.
“The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things,” she said. “Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient and I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress.”
As the episode went on, DeGeneres welcomed her first guest of the season and interviewed Tiffany Haddish discussing topics ranging from her relationship with rapper Common to her decision to shave her head.
Throughout the week, celebrities including Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin, Kris Jenner, Derek Hough and others made appearances on the show.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” airs on NBC Monday through Friday at 3PM PT.