By Erin Stehler
Season 18 of The Ellen Show premiered on September 21 to the dismay of everybody except middle-aged women. The show was bombarded with toxic workplace allegations, and Ellen decided to address them in her opening monologue. The following will be a comprehensive review and overall rating of Ellen DeGeneres’s apology.
It all started on Twitter as former interns and staff at the show began sharing their horrific experiences with Ellen. One user said, “She has a “sensitive nose,” so everyone must chew gum from a bowl outside her office before talking to her and if she thinks you smell that day you have to go home and shower.” Another said, “One time I saw a taping of Ellen and the intern got Ellen the wrong kind of coffee so security took the intern outside and then we heard a gunshot but Ellen said it was unrelated.” Only one of these has been confirmed. I’ll let you decide.
She began the monologue by stating there were allegations of a toxic work environment, and there was an investigation. Now you might be thinking to yourself that she is going to take full responsibility for her actions and make a clear and concise apology, but alas, no. She then says, “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 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.” I recognize that this is technically an apology; however, she fails to give any specific instances, any steps taken, and most importantly, she implies that other people were the problem and that she knew nothing. Is she sorry that multiple sources confirm she has a sign outside her office that says, “do not look the host in the eye”? Unclear. She says, “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.” I’m sure those conversations were about how the hell they’d stay on the air. This was never about the staff or the production team; this was about Ellen being malicious.
She then dove into how hard it is to be known as the ‘be kind lady’– a self-made title– and why she’s just like the rest of us. The most profound quote from this section was definitely, “Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient, and I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress.” I appreciate a good adjective, but the best part is that she says she’s a work in progress. Ma’am. You’re 62, and you tried to get a waitress fired for having chipped nail polish. I’m 21, and if somebody punched me, I’d apologize, so if we’re all working toward not yelling at people for no reason, then I’m the final form. She continues, talking about how early in her career, she was a “pretty good” actress, but not good enough to fool everyone into thinking she was a nice person for 17 years if she wasn’t. This was a really cool way of saying, “either I’m nice or you’re dumb so pick one.” Nice. She then half-apologizes again and says she’s sorry if she hurt anybody’s feelings. It’s like she’s trying to say, “I didn’t do anything, but if I did then I’d be sorry!” She concludes this part with more absolutely groundbreaking stuff, “I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good, that’s my favorite thing to do. That and Jenga. *laughs* I love that game.” I love this line. No notes.
The rest of the video goes on for way too long, so I’ll give you the highlights. She thanks her staff, she points out some worse things going on in the world to make the allegations seem unimportant, and she talks to her DJ. Overall I give this apology a 2/10. The word ‘sorry’ was said, but I’m not exactly sure what she was sorry for or if she is unfamiliar with the word and just read it off the teleprompter. I know that when these allegations began, people had a rising level of anger. That anger was fueled by fear that we may never see an old woman dab with our favorite politicians ever again. So who could replace this monstrosity of a human being and be the new Ellen? Eric Andre and his loyal fans have taken to Twitter to campaign. In conclusion, Ellen, if you’re reading this, I hope Eric Andre steals your show.