Ellen DeGeneres opened Season 18 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday (September 21, 2020) with a monologue in which she addressed the toxic workplace accusations posed against the show by current and former employees over the summer.
Her words came off as very tone-deaf by some of the show’s current and former employees according to BuzzFeed News.
“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee stated. “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?’”
As for the timing of her apology, one current employee assumed that she waited to make her public apology for ratings.
“It’s always tactical,” the employee said. “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.”
As for the jokes in the monologue, a former employee thought that they were totally inappropriate since employees had been subject to sexual misconduct.
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“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.”
“It’s kind of amazing that this is being discussed on her show. To actually go from an environment where nothing is said and everyone keeps their head down to now when it’s the topic of her first show back is pretty amazing,” one employee revealed about Ellen actually confronting the issue. “Whether or not I believe in this message that she is saying is another issue.”
A former employee was upset about the apology, saying, “The right thing would be to follow up with these people who are humans who were affected by this/ They have a responsibility to kind of close this chapter of our lives and move on. 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.’ It just feels like there’s no ending to this for people who came forward and said things that happened to them and reopened these wounds and rehashed these memories.”
You can watch Ellen’s apology here.