Ellen DeGeneres makes on-air apology, vows a ‘new chapter’


FILE – Ellen DeGeneres poses in the press room at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 5, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. DeGeneres says she’ll be ready to talk when her daytime show returns this month after a staff shake-up prompted by allegations of a toxic workplace. “I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio. And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it,” DeGeneres said in a statement announcing the show’s Sept. 21, 2020, start of its 18th season. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Ellen DeGeneres used her opening monologue of the new season of her daytime talk show to address allegations of a toxic work environment.

“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said in a video posted Monday.

“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.

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” started its 18th season in Los Angeles with the host on stage for the first time in months after taping from DeGeneres’s home during quarantine. There wasn’t a studio audience but a virtual one, with faces beamed in on monitors put in the audience seats.

With a few jokes sprinkled in her monologue, she explained how she became known as the “Be Kind Lady” and defined herself as “a work-in-progress.”

“I’ve played a straight woman in movies so I’m a pretty good actress,” DeGeneres said referencing her acting career before life as a talk show host, “But I don’t think I’m that good that I’m could come out here, every day for seventeen years and fool you. This is me, and my intention is to always be the best person I can be.”

“We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the future,” she said. “We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”

Three of the show’s producers exited over the summer amid allegations of a dysfunctional workplace that harbored misbehavior, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.

At the end of the monologue, DeGeneres announced DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss had been named a co-executive producer.

“I am so happy to announce you are not my DJ anymore,” she announced with the help of a recorded drumroll, “because you’re such an important part of the show and unfortunately I had to take the fake DJ equipment away.”

In a July statement, Warner Bros. said parent company WarnerMedia’s investigation revealed what it called “some flaws in the show’s daily management.”

Although not all of the allegations were corroborated, the studio said it was “disappointed that the primary findings of the investigation indicated some deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management.”

The Associated Press Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report.

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