Current and Former 'Ellen DeGeneres Show' Staffers Say Her On-Air Apology Was Tone-Deaf (Report)

“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” former employee tells BuzzFeed News

Photo by Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Ellen DeGeneres opened Season 18 of “The Ellen DeGeneres” show Monday with a monologue that addressed the toxic workplace accusations posed against the show by current and former employees over the summer. But DeGeneres’ speech, which included apologies and a promise to start a “new chapter” at her show, was found tone-deaf by some former and current “Ellen” staffers due to the inclusion of jokes, according to BuzzFeed News.

One former employee told BuzzFeed news, “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?’”

“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” another former staffer said.

A spokesperson for DeGeneres declined to comment Tuesday and representatives for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and distributor Warner Bros. TV did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request.

An individual with knowledge of the situation on set told TheWrap that the environment “feels very different,” and that DeGeneres is “more engaged than ever.” The insider says that DeGeneres had been connecting with her staff over Zoom leading up to Monday’s premiere to make sure they feel “heard and valued.”

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