Ellen DeGeneres is starting fresh with Season 18 of her show, promising viewers “a new chapter.” In her first monologue since taking a hiatus over the summer, the The Ellen DeGeneres Show host addressed the allegations and reports that have plagued her show for months now, apologizing to those affected and taking responsibility going forward, the New York Times reports.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres began. “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.”
The monologue comes after a tumultuous few months for DeGeneres, who was the subject of multiple reports over the summer detailing a toxic workplace on the set of her show and accusing producers of sexual harassment. As a result, WarnerMedia launched an investigation into The Ellen DeGeneres Show and three producers were fired. Before her official Season 18 debut earlier this month, DeGeneres promised her viewers, “we’re gonna talk about it.”
Keeping true to her promise, she didn’t hold back on today’s show, even addressing the claims that she’s not really as nice as she seems. Over the summer, comedian Brad Garrett claimed that DeGeneres’ “horrible” behavior was “common knowledge” in the industry. DeGeneres owned up to her reputation as the “be kind lady,” and explained that her mantra began after the death of Tyler Clementi, a young man who killed himself after being bullied for his sexuality. “I thought the world needed more kindness and it was a reminder that we all needed that, and I think we need it more than ever right now,” she said.
Despite the rumors about her behavior behind the scenes, DeGeneres insisted that she shows her authentic self on camera. “The truth is I am that person that you see on TV,” she said. “I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient.”
She later added, “I am a talk show host and you know that, but maybe some of you know that, you know, I was an actress. I’ve played a straight woman in movies so I’m a pretty good actress. But I don’t think that I’m that good that I could come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me and my intention is to always be the best person I can be.
“And if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that. If that’s ever the case, I have let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well because I always try to grow as a person. I look at everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn. I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good — that’s my favorite thing to do. That and Jenga, I love that game.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show returns for Season 18 today on NBC at 3/2c. Watch DeGeneres’ full monologue in the video above.
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