Is the Ellen Show Over?
The Daily Mail reports in an exclusive post that Ellen Degeneres is literally seconds from ending her iconic daytime talk show! She’s reportedly telling execs she’s had enough!
I think it’s safe to say that this is all stemming from all the recent scandal that has put her iconic daytime talk show on the “WTF” chopping block for being one of the most toxic work environments on earth – behind the scenes. That’s quite the opposite of what her show projects to the public.
Before I dig in, let me say that before Ellen became a TV star – going back to the 90s, she was a brilliant stand up comedian. I can honestly say, she was one of the top female comedians along with Suzie Essman, Janeane Garofalo, Sandra Bernhardt, and Wendy Leiberman, who inspired me to leave my small, New Jersey town and move to New York City to do stand up comedy.
Fast forward years later, after her historic sitcom “coming out” episode, nobody was happier than me when she became a household name. I knew the work she put in long BEFORE the coronation of her being dubbed “Oprah 2.0.”
I knew at that time that Ellen was bold enough, funny enough, and talented enough to go the full distance. And she has. However, now with all the press that her daytime talk show has garnered as a racist, oppressive, not-so-great place to work, I have to wonder, has her legacy in entertainment reached its end?
Following the lukewarm to the downright abysmal response by current and former staffers to Ellen’s apology letter for her allegedly oppressive work environment, my sources tell me that Ellen has reached her breaking point.
In that letter that we shared at Instinct Magazine on Thursday upon its release, Ellen addressed reports of employee’s distress but also seemed not to take full responsibility for much of what has occurred, at times using general terms about the “environment.”
The environment is called “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and like many other brands or companies, the buck stops with the brand or company’s name’s sake.
On Friday, DailyMail reported that Ellen is taking it all very personally (Um, why wouldn’t she? It’s called the “Ellen” show), and she’s ready to throw in the towel and cancel the show altogether.
I have mixed feelings on it all. I mean, it’s evident that Ellen has done amazing things for people over the years and used her show for good. She’s changed lives. One life in particular is an African American, named Kalen Allen.
Allen rose to popularity for his light-hearted but funny commentaries on Facebook and Youtube, responding to (mostly white) people cooking meals with recipes that seemed to be very peculiar to black folks. Allen’s humorous online response to the kitchen atrocities he witnessed made him a social media viral success. Ellen noticed, invited him onto her show, and then hired him as an at-large (out on the town) personality to cover events across the country. Just to be clear, she didn’t have to do that – but she did.
Ellen created on her show, an on-camera position for Allen, a young African American man, because his presence inspired her that much. I interviewed Allen on the Red Carpet at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2019 and he told me directly that Ellen was the best boss he ever had and she never fails to ask people how their day is going or how was their weekend? She literally changed his life.
Granted, Allen is just one person, but it leaves me conflicted over the accounts of Ellen not being a person who cares about others and her alleged toxic show environment. There are so many examples of her efforts as a socially-conscious human who stands on the right side of humanity. She’s even been vocal as part of the public outcry seeking justice for Breyonna Taylor, Black Lives Matter and other claims of racial injustices.
That said, I don’t give Ellen a complete pass because, at that level of success, one must take responsibility for all of it. Ellen seems to attempt to do that in her now, well-shared personal apology letter she penned to her staff, but many who work or have worked for her are claiming she’s passing the buck and not fully owning her role in creating the toxic, behind the scenes work culture.
Personally, from what I have witnessed over the years working in entertainment, often celebrities are being spoken for by overzealous, protective people who can be extremely off-putting. The “star” being spoken for may not even be unaware of the incidents such as people being told not to look at her or speak to her around the office – one of the claims being made.
I’m not trying to give Ellen a pass here, but I appreciate that she acknowledges there were problems on her show behind the scenes and she’s vowing to get to the bottom of it.
Ellen’s apology letter was a hot topic on my latest co-hosted podcast segment of “Naughty But Nice With Rob.” Rob Shuter shared his take on the situation and shared a rather scathing account from a prominent Australian TV personality who recently spoke of his cold and “bizarre” encounter with Ellen’s staff when his show interviewed her.
Shuter has his unique perspective on matters as he’s been backstage on the Ellen show over the years with his celebrity clients. Check out Rob and me discussing this and more celebrity gossip on iHeartradio’s “Naughty But Nice with Rob” podcast!
Head over to Daily Mail for more on this story.
This piece is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.