Ellen DeGeneres’ show returned this week, back in the studio, after months of being off and months of having to record from her home. In her first episode back on Monday, Ellen devoted her monologue to all of the sh-t that happened over the summer, which is that she got outed as a toxic, terrible boss who fostered a massively toxic work environment, and that everyone who worked on the show hated her and hated their work lives. The first episodes back got high ratings, I guess because people wanted to see how Ellen would address the controversies. But her apology got slammed by current and former employees on the show – Buzzfeed did another lengthy article about it, which you can read here. Some highlights:
On Ellen’s jokey monologue: “Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee said. “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?’” another former employee said.
Everything is tactical: A current employee told BuzzFeed News they’ve been frustrated with minimal communication from their superiors about the direction and vision for the new season, and that all of their duties were “put on hold” until DeGeneres delivered her monologue. The employee said they’re relieved to be able to move forward with work now that the premiere aired, but that “it’s all tactical.” “It’s always tactical,” the employee said. “The average person will listen to it and make their own choices, but what people don’t always take into account is that information is power, and she’s sharing it now because it’s for premiere week and it’s to get viewers back, and that just feels the opposite of what this message is about.”
Trauma isn’t funny: They were also disappointed that DeGeneres made “inappropriate jokes” while discussing her employees’ traumas. “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,” a former employee said.
On the discussion about “Be Kind”: “I don’t feel sorry that she’s in a sh-t load of trouble because she branded herself the ‘be kind’ person,” a former employee said. “She’s acting like it was something she said in passing that just stuck with her. It’s not something that stuck with her, it’s not an accident. She went forward with this idea and this marketing strategy that was not true behind the scenes.” The former employee continued, “There’s nothing wrong with being the ‘be kind’ lady if you’re actually true to your word.”
Yeah. I didn’t think Ellen actually managed to set the right tone either, but I also think it was sort of interesting to see her TRY to acknowledge many of the criticisms head-on. I also thought the weirdest part was that Ellen still acts like she had no f–king knowledge about what was happening on her show before this year. Yes, it’s good that she’s taken responsibility for the misconduct (it IS actually her responsibility), but where was this before traumatized employees had to turn to Buzzfeed to get their stories out?
Photos courtesy of WENN.
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