Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres began her 18th season by thanking her viewers, following it up by addressing the “toxic work environment” that was first reported in July.
BuzzFeed News interviewed dozens of ex-employees who reported allegations of sexual misconduct against the three top executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman, who have since left the show.
“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 that were affected,” DeGeneres said in her monologue. “I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and I realize with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
When DeGeneres found out about the allegations, she apologized in a memo sent to her staff because it was supposed to be a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect,” BuzzFeed reported.
DeGeneres apologized again in a Zoom town hall meeting with the staff on Aug. 17, where they were told that they would receive paid-off days, have birthdays off, and paid time for doctor appointments and family matters, according to Hollywood.com.
During her monologue, DeGeneres also explains why she is known as “the be kind lady” after an 18-year-old college student named Tyler Clementi committed suicide after being bullied for being gay.
“I thought the world needed more kindness and it was a reminder that we all needed that, and I think we need it more than ever right now,” DeGeneres said. “I still want to be the one hour a day where people can go to escape and laugh, I want to continue to help all the people we help every day and I’m committed to making this the best season that we have ever had.”