2020 unexpectedly turned out to be a year of reckoning for Ellen DeGeneres. The popular daytime talk show host whose motto is “be kind to one another” was engulfed in multiple controversies regarding allegations of abuse and poor behavior against herself and the producers of her show towards staff and guests. During the opening monologue for the first episode of the new season of her show, Ellen addressed the allegations head-on. Starting with a sarcastic declaration that she had a great summer, DeGeneres started by acknowledging that things had been happening at her show that must not be condoned.
“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 that were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
Describing the new season The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a new chapter, Ellen admitted she is not just the person people see on TV, but a lot of other things as well. Referring to her “be kind” motto, DeGeneres explained being the “be kind lady” is a “tricky position to be in.”
“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. And I am especially working on the impatience — and it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough.”
Punctuating her monologue with a few jokes that elicited scattered laughs, Ellen reminded her audience that she is a pretty good actress because she had played a straight woman in past projects, but not so good as to come out every day for 17 years and fool everyone into accepting a fake version of her.
“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’ve 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. All I want is for every single one of [my 270 employees] to be happy and to be proud to work here.”
Ellen’s remarks were not limited to her show. She also took time to address the dire state of the world at large, and expressed a desire to provide a safe space to her audience for an hour a day with the new season of her show:
“This has been a horrible summer for people all over the world. People are losing their jobs. People are losing loved ones. People are losing their homes and lives in raging fires that are going on. 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. I still want to be the one hour a day that people can go to escape and laugh. I want to continue to help all of the people that we help every day, and I am committed to making this the best season that we have ever had.”
This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter.