Ellen DeGeneres, the popular American talk show host behind "The Ellen Show", has mulled the possibility of quitting the hit talk show amid recently-sparked allegations over "sexual misconduct" by senior-level producers toward other staffers, a practice that DeGeneres has been accused of ignoring, the Daily Mail reported, citing sources in Telepictures.
"She feels she can't go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show", the unnamed insider said. "The truth is she knew what was going on, it's her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun – but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame".
Despite an apology memo sent by DeGeneres to staff earlier in the week, sources in Telepictures insist it has been refused, claiming that "the fish rots from the head, and Ellen is the head".
In the memo, Ellen said that she has "not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done", adding that "clearly, some didn't". She committed to "ensuring this does not happen again", but her apologies do not seem to be enough.
"Don't think for a minute anything she has said in that apology means anything. She created and then enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long", one anonymous show staffer told the Daily Mail. "If anyone had come to her or those three vile [executive producers] to complain, they would've been fired".
Others said that DeGeneres addressed the issue because "the publicity is so bad for her and her BS brand of happiness and kindness".
"At this point, there's really no way to save the show from this PR nightmare, so Ellen leaving may be the only way for this entire mess to go away", the unnamed Telepictures source told the Daily Mail.
The allegations of a "toxic work environment" on the show stemmed in part from an employee experiencing "microagressions" after asking for a raise as well as the crew being required to undergo diversity and inclusion training. There were also reports of some senior executive producers having a "reputation for being handsy with women" and engaging in sexual misconduct with junior-level employees.
Several unnamed DeGeneres staffers claimed they were not allowed to speak to the host of the show or "get within a mile of her on the lot".
In her apology memo, DeGeneres said an investigation had been launched by Warner Bros to "correct the issues". She also stated that she has been subject to a "misrepresentation" by people she works with.
"I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me. It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice", DeGeneres said in the memo.
A resignation by DeGeneres would put an end to the daytime comedy talk show, nominated for 171 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and won 61, also winning 17 People's Choice Awards. The show's YouTube channel is in the Top 20 of most subscribed channels. In 2019, DeGeneres announced that the show had been renewed through 2022, a claim that now appears to be in doubt.