Former and current employees of The Ellen DeGeneres Show are calling out the talk show host for a “disingenuous” and “tactical” apology. Amid allegations of work place misconduct, Ellen DeGeneres’ public apology came during the show’s 18th season premiere.
In recent months, both DeGeneres and her show have come under fire for how they have treated both workers and guests. Dozens of former employees spoke out against the host and the show’s production team. They said the show had a “toxic” environment and also accused high-level producers of both sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity.
According to BuzzFeed, several employees found the apology “insulting” and criticized the host for making jokes at their expense. One employee found it “inappropriate” to make jokes when discussing topics like sexual misconduct.
“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee said.
“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?’” another former employee said.
A current employee called Ellen DeGeneres’ apology ‘tactical.’
A current employee found DeGeneres’ apology to be “tactical”. For the past few months, the employee said they barely communicated with their superiors regarding the vision for the new season. Their superiors placed all of their duties “on hold” until DeGeneres delivered her apology.
“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.”
One former employee noticed that DeGeneres distanced herself from the “be kind” slogan she created. DeGeneres chose not to end the show with the slogan as she had in years past.
“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,” the former employee said. “There’s nothing wrong with being the ‘be kind’ lady if you’re actually true to your word.”
One former employee also called out WarnerMedia’s recent investigation of the show for failing to produce results. They felt saddened to hear DeGeneres’ apology on TV rather than from DeGeneres herself.
“They have a responsibility to kind of close this chapter of our lives and move on,” they said.