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Ellen DeGeneres starts show by addressing employees' claims of 'toxic work culture'


'I learned that things happened here that never should have happened'

John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres launched the return of her show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," on Monday, by addressing fans about the allegations of a "toxic work culture" claimed by employees cited anonymously in several BuzzFeed articles earlier this year.

What are the details?

DeGeneres began her monologue — without an audience due to the coronavirus — by making a few jokes while bringing up the allegations and acknowledging that an investigation was launched by WarnerMedia.

"I learned that things happened here that never should have happened," the host said. "I take responsibility for my show."

The comedian also led a round of applause for the show's 270 employees.

CBS News reported that "While DeGeneres started the monologue with an apology, taking responsibility for the allegations at the talk show without addressing specific details, she focused most of her opening speech on denying implications that she was aware of the misconduct taking place behind the scenes."

"I'm a pretty good actress," DeGeneres told her virtual audience. "But I don't think that I'm that good that I could come out here every day for seventeen years and fool you. This is me. And my intention is to always be the best person I can be. And if I've ever let someone down, if I've ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that. If that's ever the case, I've let myself down and I've let myself down as well."

"The truth is I am that person that you see on TV," the host said, according to The Daily Wire. "I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient. I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress. I'm especially working on the impatience thing, and it's not going well because it's not happening fast enough, I'll tell you that."

Ellen's First Monologue of Season 18www.youtube.com

What about the allegations?

DeGeneres addressed the issue with her staff directly via a message sent in July about the allegations, wherein she told the employees:

"On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me know it's the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show."

The host said during her show Monday, "We have made the necessary changes, and today we are starting a new chapter."

E! reported that "some of these changes involved the staff," noting that "last month, Warner Bros. confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman 'parted ways' with the syndicated talk show."

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