For the last few months, Ellen DeGeneres has been accused of a plethora of allegations against her and the 'toxic' work environment at her talk show.
First coming to light in July 2020, the controversy initially took off after a Buzzfeed News report shared detailed accounts from 10 former employees about sexual harassment, racism and unjust termination they'd experienced from the show's executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman.
And while DeGeneres has been both called out and supported by former guests on her show, she has remained relatively tight-lipped on the situation—until now.
Kicking off season 18 of her daytime talk show on September 21, DeGeneres began her statement by addressing the misconduct allegations with the following statement:
“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,” DeGeneres said to her virtual audience.
"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," she continued.
"This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there, my name is there, my name is on underwear. 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' return to the public eye comes a month after rumours circulated that she was planning to leave the show. This news came after WarnerMedia revealed that it would be conducting an investigation into the workplace and would "interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set".
However, this isn't the first time DeGeneres has spoken out about the allegations altogether. In a private memo to her staff, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres wrote:
"As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."
In her public address, DeGeneres went onto reflect on the origins of her famous sign off, "Be Kind To One Another". And spoke about the difficulties she's faced in being branded the "Be kind lady."
DeGeneres 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," she admitted.
"The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV," she said, referencing reports she cultivated a different onscreen persona than her real-life personality.
"I am also a lot of other things. 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."
Watch Ellen DeGeneres' full monologue below: