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Ellen addresses toxic work environment claims live on air: ‘I take responsibility’

The under-fire comedian says her talk show is "starting a new chapter".

By Jamie Tabberer

Ellen DeGeneres has addressed allegations of a toxic work environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as the daytime TV programme returns to screens today (21 September).

Delivering a monologue to a virtual audience at the epiosde’s start, the star said: “I take full responsibility for what happens at my show.”

The video was shared on the show’s official Twitter account, along with the caption: “We’re starting a new chapter.” It was also posted to YouTube.

Ellen began hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003 (Picture: CBS)

Introducing season 18, Ellen joked: “If you’re watching because you love me, thank you. If you’re watching because you don’t, welcome.”

She then added: “How was everybody’s summer? Mine was great – super terrific!”

Throughout much of summer 2020, Ellen and other show producers been accused of fostering a toxic workplace environment by current and former employees. 

According to a BuzzFeed investigation published in July, staff claimed they feared racism and intimidation behind the scenes on the show.

In today’s video, 62-year-old Ellen explained that an investigation into the allegations had taken place, saying: “I learned 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 I’m in a position of priviledge and power and I realise with that comes responsibility. And I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

The star also discussed her “be kind” persona, saying: “There were also articles in the press and on social media that said I am not who I appear to be on TV, because I became known as the ‘be kind lady’.

“Here’s how that happened. I started saying ‘be kind to one and other’ after a young man named Tyler Clementi took his own life after being bullied for being gay.

“I thought the world needed more kindness. […] I think we need it more than ever now.”

The Ellen DeGeneres Show suspended production in March due to coronavirus.