Ellen DeGeneres will reportedly come back to host the 18th season of her namesake show despite an ongoing investigation into allegations of toxic work culture. Her possible return to the talk show has been confirmed by Telepictures to NBC News.
Melissa Little Padgitt, the spokesperson of the chat show, which is airing since 2003 confirmed that the staff members returned to the work remotely after a summer hiatus on Monday, August 3. However, the crew has not made its return yet. It has been said that the 62-year-old comedian will host the upcoming season amid speculations that she would be replaced.
A source close to the show’s production refuted Ellen’s replacement claims and confirmed that “no one is stepping in or taking over” the place of her, though the investigation into the show is “still ongoing” involving a third party. The source added that the show has the staff strength of around 150 people, including the digital team, and all are planning production while keeping in mind the coronavirus safety guidelines. According to the source, the shooting for Ellens’ spin-off show, ‘Ellen’s Game of Games’, is expected to start on August 24 in the studio, while the host’s personal spokesperson said that the show will air on September 9.
The investigation into the famous ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ was launched after Buzzfeed published a story on July 16 quoting one current employee and 10 former staffers who claimed they faced racism and got fired for attending funerals. They also claimed that the famous talk show’s mantra “Be Kind” was only for the TV. “That ‘be kind’ bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show. I know they give money to people and help them out, but it’s for show,” one former employee said. The staffers accused senior managers on the show for the toxic work environment.
“The biggest common thread that everyone told me is that what goes on behind the scenes is a far cry from what the show represents in their ‘be kind’ messaging and what the show and what Ellen DeGeneres herself profits off of,” Buzzfeed entertainment editor Krystie Yandoli was quoted as saying by NBC News. Also since Ellen is not the main focus of the investigators, a source earlier said that some former employees want her to face the consequences of her alleged misbehavior. Yandoli added: “Some former employees said that because of Ellen’s name and face on the show, they want her to have more accountability and involvement about what goes on behind the scenes.”
Meanwhile, on July 30, Ellen addressed the accusations made against her and released a memo to staff. “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. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show,” the message stated.