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Film and TV

Ellen DeGeneres hints she’ll address the firestorm that’s plagued her show as it stages its make-or-break return

Josh Milton August 25, 2020
Ellen DeGeneres during the FOX PRESENTS THE IHEART LIVING ROOM CONCERT FOR AMERICA. (FOX via Getty Images)

Ellen DeGeneres during the IHEART Living Room Concert for America (FOX/Getty)

Ellen DeGeneres has hinted that she will address the controversy that has engulfed her eponymous TV show when it returns in September.

The chat show host’s once-sparkling reputation has been whittled away in recent months, amid a patchwork of claims from former and current The Ellen DeGeneres Show staffers and audience members that the set is engulfed by “toxicity”.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show will return from a scheduled break on September 14, and for the first time the comic has suggested she will speak on the goings on of recent months.

Approached by paparazzi in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California Sunday (August 23), DeGeneres said: “I will be talking to my fans”.

While leaving a restaurant with a friend, photographers quizzed the daytime talk show host on the recent dismissal of three of her top producers. She refused to comment.

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres broadcasting her chat show from home. (YouTube/The Ellen Show)

According to Entertainment Tonight, there are no “concrete plans” on how the comedian will address the situation publicly, but it is understood that she will discuss it in some way on her show.

DeGeneres has previously used her show to confront criticism after she was torpedoed for her friendship with former US president George W Bush, whose shaky track record with LGBT+ rights appeared at odds with DeGeneres and her fans.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show to return after three top producers sacked.

The eighteenth season of Ellen will prove a crucial test for whether DeGeneres can rebuild trust with both staff and her decades-long viewership, as rumours swirl that she could be replaced by James Corden

At the start of August it was reported ratings had fallen by 29 per cent compared to the previous year. On the same week that Buzzfeed News published an explosive report on the allegedly toxic work culture of the syndicated show, ratings fell by 27 per cent compared to the prior year.

Following an internal investigation into the claims, producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were all fired ahead of the show’s return to screens.

Speaking to staff over Zoom, DeGeneres apologised for “letting the ball drop a bit”, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and addressed allegations levelled at her own behaviour: namely that she is “mean” and standoffish.

Executive producers reportedly said that the host “will be making rounds to smaller chats” and told staffers they are committed to wiping out a “culture of fear”.

More: California, Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, TV, US

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