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Ellen DeGeneres breaks silence on controversy in candid monologue – watch

The talk show host addressed the reports for the new season

ellen degeneres apology
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
September 21, 2020
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Ellen DeGeneres has broken her silence on the reports of a "toxic" workplace environment backstage at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. To mark the beginning of season 18, the talk show host addressed a virtual audience and viewers at home as she spoke out on the reports of workplace issues that have been the centre of media attention in recent weeks.

MORE: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi celebrate 12th wedding anniversary: look back at their big day

Starting the show in her usual light-hearted way, Ellen said: "If you're watching because you love me, thank you. If you're watching because you don't love me, welcome!" She then quipped: "How was everybody's summer, good? Mine was great."

WATCH: Ellen DeGeneres finally breaks silence on show controversy

The 62-year-old then went on to address the controversy, stating: "As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I'm so sorry to the people who were affected.

"I know that I am in a position of privilege and power, and I realise 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 [pointing], my name is there [pointing], my name is on underwear.

ellen 1© Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Ellen addressed a virtual audience ahead of season 18 premiere

She added further: "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."

Ellen then went on to highlight allegations that she was not the "same person" she is on TV behind the scenes. "The truth is, I am that lady you see on TV, I am also a lot of other things. 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," she said.

"I'm a talk show host and you know that, maybe some of you know that 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 seventeen years and fool you. This is me."

ellen degeneres home

The talk show host has been the centre of allegations of workplace complaints in recent weeks

"And my intention is to always be the best person I can be, and if I've ever let someone down, or 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."

The presenter finished her speech by addressing other recent events that have dominated reports recently. "This has been a horrible summer for people all around the world. People are losing their jobs, people are losing their loved ones to a pandemic.""

"There's blatant racial injustice all around us. I watch the news and I feel like 'where do we even begin?' So my hope is that we can still be a place of happiness and joy. And I am committed to making this the best season that we have ever had."

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