On Tuesday, Ellen DeGeneres revealed plans for her show’s return and said she would be addressing the recent allegations by employees that the show was a “toxic environment.” The under fire host also announced a return date for The Ellen DeGeneres Show along with an initial guest lineup.
“I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio,” said DeGeneres. “And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it.”
DeGeneres is still accused of fostering a “toxic” work environment on the set of the show. The accusations led to a behind-the-scenes shakeup with DeGeneres firing three top producers. Meanwhile, there were also rumors that the show could be canceled altogether.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show Return Details
The Ellen DeGeneres Show will return for its 18th season on Monday, Sept. 21. DeGeneres will begin the new season with special guest actress-comedian Tiffany Haddish. Furthermore, there will also be premier week appearances by Alec Baldwin, Kerry Washington, and Chrissy Teigen. Later in the month, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Adam Sandler, and Orlando Bloom are all scheduled to make appearances on the show.
The announcement also stated that Stephen “tWitch” Boss – DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2014 – will guest host upcoming episodes this fall. The DJ has been a vocal supporter for DeGeneres since the accusations were reported, along with many other celebrities who have defended DeGeneres. But, having Boss fill in as host will probably raise some questions. Specifically, about whether DeGeneres herself will continue hosting the talk show in the long term.
“We can’t speak too much legally about it, but I’ll say this, there’s been love,” Boss told US Weekly about the controversy. “Obviously there’s some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there’s been love. I’ll just leave it at that until there’s a time where we can address more publicly. There’s been love and there will continue to be love.”
However, Boss’ predecessor DJ Tony Okungbowa shared a different perspective on the matter. Okungbowa was the DJ on the show from 2003-2006 and again from 2008-2013. His experiences working on the show led him to back up employee accusations about “the toxicity of the environment.”
The daytime talk show will proceed filming on its usual Warner Bros. stage, except without an in-studio audience.
The Show’s ‘Toxic Environment’ Controversy
DeGeneres has gone from beloved host with the mantra “be kind” to a defamed celebrity on social media. Multiple employees and guests of the show spoke against DeGeneres and her fostering a toxic work environment. The allegations included sexual misconduct, racism, and a “culture of fear.” Warner Bros. confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have left the show. All three producers deny the accusations.
The talk show host has repeatedly apologized to her staff. DeGeneres spoke in a Zoom meeting with the show’s staff on Aug. 17 about being introverted and having good days and bad days. She said being introverted led her to keep to herself at times. And she acknowledged that could have been misinterpreted as her not being nice to employees.
“Does that mean I’m perfect? No. I’m not,” Degeneres said. “I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes.”
Other changes to the show have already been implemented to benefit the show’s staff moving forward. The employees were given a new perks package that includes additional paid time off and an improved medical leave policy.
[H/T Entertainment Weekly]