Current and former employees found Ellen's on-air apology inappropriate and disingenous, according to a new report.
All eyes were on talk show host Ellen DeGeneres this week for her return to the The Ellen DeGeneres Show after a rather eventful hiatus.
In one of the weirdest Ellen episodes of all time, the season premiere opened with a monologue where DeGeneres responded to allegations the show is a hotbed of sexual harassment and racism (along with industry rumours that she herself is a nightmare to work with).
According to a new report from Buzzfeed News, though, employees were less than impressed with DeGeneres’ efforts. Many took issue with the smattering of jokes throughout her monologue, which opened with the quip: “How was everybody’s summer? Good, yeah? Mine was great. Super terrific.”
“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,” one ex-staffer reportedly said.
Another former employee says Ellen presented herself as the victim of a situation that had caused real harm to real people. “Everyone was calling out all of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?” they said.
In the same vein, another ex-staffer found Ellen to be disingenuous in claiming to be a victim of the show’s ‘be kind’ brand. “If anybody's thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the 'be kind' lady”, the talk show host joked.
“She’s acting like [‘be kind’] was something she said in passing that just stuck with her. It’s not something that stuck with her, it’s not an accident. She went forward with this idea and this marketing strategy that was not true behind the scenes.” Indeed, ‘be kind’ hoodies, tote bags and t-shirts are sold as official merchandise on the show’s official website.
Others said they would have preferred a more human, direct apology to those who had been affected, citing a lack of closure. “The right thing would be to follow up with these people who are humans who were affected by this,” another former staff member said. “They have a responsibility to kind of close this chapter of our lives and move on,” remarked an ex-staffer who assisted WarnerMedia (the show's parent company) in their investigation.
They also mentioned the investigation's emotional impact, which failed to offer participants a human-focused resolution.
“It was like, ‘Tell us all of the most fucked-up things that happened to you for the investigation, and now that we’ve written it all down, see you later'."
The ex-employee added it would have helped for someone to have contacted them directly and simply say: “We’re so sorry this happened to you.”
Main Image Credit: Licensed By Getty
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