In the beginning of the 2000s, talk shows became a prime source of entertainment. With celebrities such as Oprah, Tyra Banks, and Wendy Williams, talk shows became a staple in the American TV realm. However, a once beloved talk show host has now become the center of much scrutiny: Ellen DeGeneres.
Many speculate that the fall of Ellen began back in fall of 2019 when Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson and Ellen had a bit of a quarrel on the talk show. Ellen pointedly asked Johnson why she had not been invited to her birthday party, to which Johnson replied with the infamous quote: ”Actually, no, that’s not the truth, Ellen”. This exchange went viral on twitter and soon after the rest of DeGeneres’ empire came under scrutiny.
Not only did the celebrity herself get exposed, but her work environment came under fire. In a 2018 profile on the celebrity, New York Times reporter Jason Zinoman noted the duality of the famous celebrity. He wrote : ”In sharp contrast to her public image as everyone’s good friend, happy to listen, she presents herself — with tongue in cheek — as cartoonishly aloof and indifferent, stuck in a privileged bubble, cracking several jokes, for instance, about her fabulous wealth.” This was the beginning of Ellen’s downfall.
After the celebrity herself was revealed to be not as nice as she is often thought to be, her workplace was exposed for its toxicity. In a Buzzfeed article, the toxic nature of her workplace was put on blast and allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by producers were brought about. The office was known to be an environment of “racism, fear, and intimidation” according to one former employee.
In response to these allegations, Ellen penned an email: “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry.”
While it is clear that DeGeneres’ reputation has taken a substantial blow, the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is still set to premiere on September 9th. This decision will perhaps give DeGeneres an opportunity to make amends. We will have to wait to see what the tone of her show will be in September.