DeGeneres Charts a Course Back into Public Trust

After reports surfaced that some current and former employees of the Ellen show were accusing the star, Ellen DeGeneres, of allowing a “toxic workplace environment,” Ellen immediately responded. At the time, she said she felt “deep compassion” for anyone who felt mistreated, adding the following apology:

“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that (the show) would be a place of happiness… No one would raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect… Something changed, and for that, I’m sorry…”

Now, Ellen has continued her efforts to win her way back into her loyal fans’ hearts and minds. Step on in that direction is to get back to production on her program, something Ellen says she is very much looking forward to: “I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio… Yes, we’re gonna talk about it…”

Ellen has never shied away from talking about difficult subjects, even when they might be very personal to her, specifically. In this case, based on her previous comments, this topic is very personal. She made a promise to her staff that, in the minds of some, she was not able to keep. That’s something Ellen has repeatedly expressed regret for and now is her opportunity to show the public what that means.

In announcing the renewal of her show later this month, Ellen’s PR team let the world know the host is coming back strong. Some big names will be joining DeGeneres as she “talks about it” going forward, including Alec Baldwin, Chrissy Teigen, Kerry Washington, and Amy Schumer, Adam Sandler, Orlando Bloom, and Chris Rock.

As the show goes into the fall season, “Ellen” will invite some guest hosts to share the load, giving fans various perspectives and styles. Speaking of style, some fans are openly wondering what, if any, changes there will be to the look, tone, and feel of the program after the “departure” of three show producers due to the allegations of the “toxic” environment. While it’s natural to expect some changes, they probably won’t be huge. Ellen has been popular for a very long time because the show brings a proven, familiar formula that fans expect and appreciate. Mess with that too much, and it may end up being a bridge too far.

In a few short weeks, all of the questions and speculation will be simply academic. The Ellen show will either have returned to fan acclaim or not. If it still works, despite the departure of those accused of creating the bad workplace vibe, that will serve as a credit to those who remained – including the host – taking responsibility to do better. Because, at least for now, a lot of people are watching, waiting, and wondering.

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