Just hours after Ellen DeGeneres’ on-air apology for various allegations of workplace toxicity, a number of current and former employees have called bullshit on it.
To kick off the 18th season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen gave a lengthy monologue addressing and taking responsibility for the allegations. But it turns out the people who made the allegations in the first place aren’t pleased with her response.
Speaking to Buzzfeed journalist Krystie Lee Yandoli (who broke the initial story), employees said they didn’t appreciate the apology, which began with a sarcastic “how was everybody’s summer? Good, yeah? Mine was great. Super terrific.”
Basically, the current and former employees feel like she’s made light of the extremely serious allegations. For those unaware, the allegations included sexual harassment, racism and misconduct, among other things.
“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee told Buzzfeed.
“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.
The former employees all seemed to echo a similar feeling, that Ellen was appearing to make herself the victim in the 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?’”
Throughout her lengthy monologue, Ellen discussed how being the “be kind” lady backfired on her and made her feel like she had to be perfect. But former employees have called bullshit on this too, claiming that she purposefully used the character as a marketing tactic, despite not upholding the same values personally.
“I don’t feel sorry that she’s in a shit 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.”
“There’s nothing wrong with being the ‘be kind lady’ if you’re actually true to your word,” the same former employee added.
But even current employees don’t seem too happy with the response, with one telling Buzzfeed that there has been a lack of communication with staff about the supposed “new chapter” of the show following the allegations.
“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.”
The Ellen vs The Ellen Show employees saga seems like it’s far from over, but we’ll be sure to update you as more information becomes available.Image: Getty Images / Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic