Ellen DeGeneres ‘still doesn’t understand’ talk show controversy


Ellen Degeneres hosts The Ellen Degeneres Show season 13 bi-coastal premiere at Rockefeller Center on 8 September 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Ellen DeGeneres claims she had “no idea” about any problems on her talk show because “every guest” remarked about the show’s “happy atmosphere”.

DeGeneres opened up to Savannah Guthrie on Today about the decision to end her show after its upcoming 19th season. Views for The Ellen DeGeneres Show have plummeted in the last year amid public backlash following allegations about the show’s “toxic workplace” culture and claims of bullying and racism. The accusations prompted an internal investigation, and DeGeneres even offered a tepid apology where she promised to “correct the issues”.

DeGeneres told Today that she had “no idea” about the problems many current and former employees said they faced until she read about them in the media. She claimed the 2020 allegations were “too coordinated” and “too orchestrated” because people who visited the show seemed happy.

“I really didn’t understand it, I still don’t understand it,” DeGeneres said.

She added that all she’s ever heard from “every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere it is” and “what a happy place it is”.

DeGeneres also disputed any arguments that she should have known she could have known about what was going on in her show.

“I don’t know how I could have known when there’s 225 employees here, and there are a lot of different buildings,” DeGeneres said. “Unless I actually stayed here until that last person goes home at night.”

She admitted that she should have been the “one to stand up and say this can’t be tolerated” because it is her “name on the show”. DeGeneres added: “But I do wish somebody would have come to me and said ‘Hey, something’s going on that you should know about’.”

She denied that the allegations of her show being a toxic workplace played a part in the decision to end the program. DeGeneres said, if that was the case, she “would not have come back this year”. But she said the scandal did make her “think about not coming back because it was devastating”.

“It started with attacks on me and attacking everything that I stand for and believe in and built my career around … I am a kind person,” DeGeneres said. “I am a person who likes to make people happy.”



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