Former staff who worked on The Ellen DeGeneres Show have slammed the comedian’s apology as ‘a joke’.
The apology follows multiple complaints from staff who accused senior producers of racism, bullying and sexual harassment.
As a result, Warner Television launched an investigation and subsequently fired three executive producers.
During the premiere of the 18th season of her show, DeGeneres addressed the toxic workplace allegations that have plagued the production over the US summer.
She said she takes full responsibility for the behind-the scenes misconduct of staff and apologised to those affected.
She also said her team had engaged in many discussions about the future of the show, declaring they had started “a new chapter”.
Former Ellen staffers describe apology as ‘a joke’
However, during the apology, DeGeneres used sarcasm, joking about how “terrific” her summer had been.
She also joked about how she was working on her patience – or lack thereof.
DeGeneres also addressed allegations she is not the kind lady she portrays on screen.
She told viewers she is the person they see on tv, but she also gets sad, frustrated and anxious, sounding more like a victim.
One former employee told BuzzFeed News:
“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her.”
“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?’”
Former employees also felt insulted by DeGeneres’ “inappropriate jokes” scattered throughout the monologue.
“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.”
Staff notice improvement
Leading up to the premiere, DeGeneres held numerous Zoom chats with her employees.
She wanted to make sure they feel they are heard and valued.
Sources close to the show say the environment on-set already feels different.
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