Usually a season premiere of any kind of talk show is upbeat, exciting and filled with a lot of A-list stars. That is normally the case for Ellen DeGeneres‘ long-running chat fest, except this time around it began on a much more serious note months after claims of racism, intimidation and mental abuse that allegedly took place behind the scenes were published online.
Ellen kicked off season 18 by addressing the alleged situations heads on during her opening monologue. The clip from it that was posted to her Twitter and YouTube account early on Monday, September 21.
The 62-year-old awkwardly began monologue by sarcastically talking about what a great summer she had. Ellen also brought up how controversial she’s been lately by thanking the people who love and hate her before she dove into her apology. Oh, and her audience was all virtual so there’s that too.
“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,” she said.
She continued, “I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
This is the first time that the multiple Emmy winner has publicly spoken out about these allegations. Buzzfeed originally broke the story that revolved around several of her current and former staff claiming that the executive producers of the show engaged in rampant sexual misconduct and harassment.
Executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were later last month, and WarnerMedia, the studio’s parent company, launched a third-party investigation.
“This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there, my name is there, my name is on underwear. We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”