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Film and TV

Ellen DeGeneres Show ratings stall despite embattled host breaking her silence over ‘bullying’ allegations

Josh Milton September 29, 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)

Ratings for the season 18 opening of The Ellen DeGeneres Show stalled overall, even as the eponymous host broke her silence and addressed claims of “bullying”.

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

DeGeneres had vastly remained on mute while a wave of allegations hit her and her senior-level staffers. So, with the pressure piling, her eighteenth season-opening came to be viewed as something of a test to see whether she could rebuild trust with her once committed audience.

In a seven-minute-long monologue, she finally addressed the raft of accusations, admitting that she’s a “work in progress” adding that she has “taken responsibility”.

But, according to Variety, the opening vastly failed to grab people’s attention. It netted a 1.9 Nielson household rating, the same number as last year, and didn’t grab the number one slot that day – it lost to The View.

Those tuning-in the most for the DeGeneres’ apology were, above all, 25-54-year-olds.

The key syndication scored a 0.9 – up from 0.8 in 2019. This makes it, the outlet said, the show’s strongest premiere in that demographic since the 2016-17 season.

Ellen DeGeneres addressed claims of bullying in a, well, very Ellen DeGeneres way. 

“Welcome to season 18 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show!” the 62-year-old said, thereby ending a months-long silence.

“If you’re watching because you love me, thank you,” she said, “if you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome.

“How was everybody’s summer? Good? Mine was great,” she said to laughter from her virtual audience. “Super terrific!”

Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Ellen DeGeneres during a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (Getty/Brooks Kraft)

DeGeneres continued: “Let’s get to it. As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, 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 I am so sorry to the people who were affected.

“I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

The flood gates opened this year after one of Ellen’s ex-employees, Kevin T Porter, described her as “one of the meanest people alive” in a winding Twitter thread, prompting countless staffers – former and present – to accuse DeGeneres and her senior staff as abuse.

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.

More: Ellen DeGeneres, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the ellen show

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