Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen Degeneres

What was the Accusation?

The longtime host came under fire when Buzzfeed reported that former staff members said they faced racism, fear and intimidation, mostly from a trio of executive producers. Indeed, three people were later fired: executive producers Ed Galvin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman. DeGeneres issued an apology to her staff via email after Warner Bros. Television said it would investigate allegations of a toxic workplace on the set of her show. In her message, DeGeneres said: 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.

To open her 18th season, DeGeneres issued an on-air apology mixed with her monologue, for which she was heavily criticized. Additionally, some ex-staff members that Buzzfeed spoke to said that the TV host should have put her foot down and instructed executives to lay off employees, but that she never did so. The latest twist: The Ellen DeGeneres Show is now a thing of the past.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Corrective Action, Defeasibility


Transcript (Partial)

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. 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 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.


Lee, C. (2020, September 24). Ellen DeGeneres’s show staff have thoughts about her apology monologue. Filmdaily.co. Retrieved from filmdaily.co/news/ellen-degeneres-apology-sincere/

Sperling, N. (2020, December 10). Ellen DeGeneres apologizes to staff members as Warner Media investigates show. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/business/media/