Ellen DeGeneres was in the headlines over the summer as reports of the toxic work environment at her daily talk show surfaced. The comedienne/host addressed these issues in her Season 18 opener today. And, just as Spider-man learned in his origin story that “with great power, comes great responsibility,” apparently, so has Ellen.
Ellen DeGeneres And Spider-Man?!
“If you’re watching because you love me, thank you,” DeGeneres opened her monologue by saying. “If you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome! I’ve been looking forward to addressing [the reports] directly, and unfortunately, talking to people directly has been illegal for six months so, I have a virtual audience here instead.”
It’s unclear whether DeGeneres is talking about not being able to talk to people directly because of self-quarantining, due to the coronavirus, or if she was not allowed to while an official investigation into allegations at work was going on. In any event, the host is looking forward to moving in a more positive direction.
“As you may have heard, this summer, there were allegations of a toxic environment at our show,” DeGeneres said, addressing the situation directly. “And then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say that I’m so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power. And I take responsibility for what happens at my show. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres.
“We have had a lot of conversations over the last couple of weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the show. We have made the necessary changes and today, we are starting a new chapter.” (Three executive producers from the show were let go following the investigation, Variety reported.)
DeGeneres also addressed the articles that reported she is not the kind person she appears to be on TV. The host said she adopted the “kind” stance after a young man named Tyler Clementi took his own life after being bullied for being gay. While DeGeneres maintains that she is the person people see on TV, she is also a lot of other things. She says she gets sad, mad, and anxious and yes, event impatient, and she says she is working on that.
“If I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that,” DeGeneres said. “My hope is that we can still be a place of happiness and joy,” she said, adding that she is committed to making the year the best season Ellen has ever had.
The comments section on her Instagram post was a mixed bag. “You’re remarkable ♥️,” posted @lozzpybus, “for every 1 hater theres 20 million that love you.” Another responder, @baquerizodesobrino, expressed his feelings by posting 18 consecutive vomit emojis: “🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮.”
To that graphic post, le.potatoo responded: “listen dude, if she directly said she’s sorry for everything, and that she is going to make her workplace a better environment, then give her at least a chance. Everyone deserves a second chance…” Spider-Man, who let a thief walk past him when he could have stopped him, learned the hard way that “with great power, comes great responsibility” after that same criminal killed his Uncle Ben. Has Ellen learned? Stay tuned. The Ellen DeGeneres Show airs daily in syndication. Check local listings for air times.