Ellen DeGeneres’s show staff have thoughts about her apology monologue
Sometimes, joking around is the easiest way to make people even angrier and in Ellen DeGeneres’s case, this proves true. The daytime talk show host returned to TV on Monday after the scandal surrounding her creating a toxic work environment for her employees. Starting off with her monologue, she apologized for what happened behind the scenes and insisted to viewers that she’s the same person they see on TV.
Jokes aren’t needed
This apologetic promise was soon followed with Ellen’s signature sarcastic jokes. She quipped about how “terrific” her summer had been and how she had been working on her patience. Saying her summer was terrific didn’t sit too well with Ellen’s former employees, as her jokes seemed to undermine the severity of their situation.
“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?” one former employee explained.
Sexual abuse allegations
Throughout her monologue, DeGeneres also had “inappropriate jokes” that obviously weren’t taken well by the former employees, especially since people had come forward with sexual abuse claims against her former producers.
“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,” another former employee said.
This is especially unnerving as there were claims that head writer & executive producer Kevin Leman sexually harassed ex-employees multiple times and asked them questions inappropriate for the workplace.
Leman had put out a statement denying the allegations. His apology included how the show’s writers will “push the envelope”, but even so, DeGeneres’s jokes were in poor taste.
The “be kind” person
As part of her monologue, DeGeneres also included a quip about how someone shouldn’t brand themselves as a “be kind” person as the label leaves little room for being wrong. This didn’t come off as a funny joke to everyone, especially with another former employee that didn’t sympathize with DeGeneres.
“I don’t feel sorry that she’s in a s–tload of trouble because she branded herself the ‘be kind’ person,” the 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.”
Even if Ellen’s jokes were given at the wrong time and her apologies weren’t too believable, according to the former employees, it’s a step in the right direction that she acknowledged the problems at all – especially on the first day back.