Ellen DeGeneres apologized & accepted blame in first monologue back: all forgiven?

Golden Globes 2019 Press Room

There were several big headlines yesterday about Ellen DeGeneres and “what she was going to say” in her first show back, after a summer full of awful headlines. The stories about Ellen’s toxic behavior started alongside the pandemic lockdown, and I think maybe it was just part of a “let’s talk about some sh-t that rarely gets talked about” movement. I also think Ellen was particularly vulnerable in that moment – her show had always been popular with advertisers and celebrities, but she was forced to record from home and the vibe fell flat. In any case, by the summer, the social media stories had turned into Buzzfeed articles about the toxic work environment, and actual rampant sexism, abuse and harassment behind-the-scenes on the show. Warner Bros did an internal investigation, and there was some chatter about how Ellen might just not come back.

Ellen did come back though. I’m left with the impression that she just won’t accept that the thin veil of “likeability” has been lifted and now we all see her for who she really is! So she’s been issuing vague apologies and promising her staff paid sick days and eye contact. A few higher-ups have been fired. Maybe that will help. So, I wanted to actually watch her first monologue of the season cold, and I think you should too!

First off, she looks like she had been crying just before she came out. She also looks like she’s gained some weight? Which actually looks great on her – she looks younger. As for what she says… much of it struck the right tone and I appreciate the fact that she stood there and said “the buck stops here, with me” basically. It is her responsibility, and I hope that the changes really are meaningful and that her employees have an easier time. She talks about how “Be Kind” kind of blew up in her face, but that she never meant it to be her sole characteristic and that of course she’s a multi-dimensional person and some of those dimensions suck (I’m paraphrasing).

I think the part of her argument which sort of falls flat is when she says “But I don’t think that I’m that good (of an actress) 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.” Yeah. She’s been phoning it in for years, and the “Be Kind” mask slipped often enough to show the Real Ellen – someone who is mean, someone who enjoys casual cruelty, someone out-of-touch, someone who laughs at people, not with people. That was one of the reasons why I wondered if Ellen would even fight to keep her show, since she’s so clearly been bored with it for years now. Maybe this year was a wake-up call which invigorated her and the show will be better for it. But I think the mask will continue to slip, quite honestly.

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres wearing Celine poses in the press room at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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29 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres apologized & accepted blame in first monologue back: all forgiven?”

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  1. Case says:

    I’m shocked her show came back. It seemed so obvious, to many people, I think, that her kindness veil started to slip because she’s bored of this job. She openly dislikes her guests! She’s sarcastic with fans! I don’t know. I expected her to take this as an out.

    • Blinkbanana says:

      If she’d left now, she’d forever be tainted with this brush. I wouldn’t be surprised if she does this for another 3 years and then bows out with all of this forgotten and her legacy intact

    • Paperclip says:

      People like that never quit. It becomes their mission to either prove others wrong or burn it down trying. She has enough credibility with other celebs and money to recover just FINE. Hope for those who depend on her for their living that things change. She has less power to hurt them now, so hopefully that helps. She herself won’t change, though.

      • detritus says:

        She’s never going to go away.

        She needs the attention. It’s her drug.

        Also, no. I don’t forgive a thing. She didn’t do shite until it impacted her bottom line and image.

        Unionize your workers and then let’s talk.

    • Mama says:

      The thing is – she keeps signing the new contracts. If she’s so bored, quit. I honestly think she loves the money so much and that’s the ONLY reason she keeps doing it. And it shows.

  2. SJR says:

    Nope. She is a big phony, has been faking being a nice person for years.
    Not a fan, not watching her show.

  3. Paperclip says:

    Yeah…felt to me like “Hey, lookee here! I’m doing the ‘right thing’ sooooo magnanimously even though it was other people’s fault.” There was no recognition or self-accountability, no admission that she HERSELF had hurt others or been a real a-hole at all. Just the standard “If I did that, I’m sorry”.

    • Kristen says:

      Exactly! She’s not taking responsibility. I enjoyed her, I enjoyed her show, but I refuse to turn it on anymore.

    • ravynrobyn says:

      @ Paperclip-exactly!!!!! She also said something along the lines of “IF what I did hurt someone, I’m sorry”…total narcissistic cruel evil lying sack of 💩💩

  4. Redder says:

    I’m confused as to why we should accept her apology and move on. It’s not that just the higher executives were horrible, she was too. There are PLENTY of stories of how SHE mistreated staff and guests. I feel like she’s still shifting blame. Anyway, she clearly doesn’t enjoy this job, we don’t enjoy her, let’s just mutually break up, yeah?

  5. Lucy2 says:

    Pretty much exactly what I expected her to say. I doubt she means most of it, but hopefully it does result in a better workplace for all of those employees. and maybe it will make her think twice before being so mean all the time off camera.

  6. Darla says:

    I have never liked her so I am incapable of being fair in judgement of this.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    I mean, she had to say something, if not for the viewers, the advertisers. She’s probably tired of pretending to be someone she’s not but it pays too well to stop now. So she’s back for another season but will probably end the show when her contract ends in 2022.

  8. KellyRyan says:

    When caught, talk your way out, or so you think.

  9. megs283 says:

    I wonder if she’ll hang it up after this season. If I were her, I’d want to come back to “PROVE” that I’m a nice person, these people are wrong, blah blah blah, and then go out “on top.” So maybe she’s thinking she can pull through this season and then retire rich.

    She sounds like a miserable person, and I hope that she’ll work on herself.

  10. Ariel says:

    $$$$$$$ Lots of reasons to come back to that show. Probably not that taxing for her to do, toxic workplace allegations aside, and her rich person lifestyle requires lots of new money coming in.

  11. lucy says:

    I am willing to give her the benefit on this. Sometimes, people truly do not know what they have/how they are treating people until it is thrown in their face or they lose it…after that, they appreciate it more. I will go along with the fact she learned she was not being the best, her employees were treated terribly and give her a chance. I know in my work place, my boss has no idea what is going on with the employees (though he will tell you he does). He doesn’t want to know, wants us to handle and if there is a problem, really does not do anything about it. She may be like that.

    • Mama says:

      If she can go the whole season without scaring her guests maybe she can be believed a little bit. That’s one thing I’m interested to find out – if she stops doing that knowing it makes people uncomfortable.

  12. Lori says:

    When she said “it’s tricky to be called the kind lady”….um it’s only tricky if you are not a kind person. That is all i have.

  13. Phyllis says:

    Not buying it and there is plenty of documentation of her being a jerk to service people unrelated to her show, my stepson included (on multiple occasions). Go away, Ellen.

  14. Llvanslyke says:

    nope. She is too forgiving of war criminals for me to ever forgive her.

  15. LeonsMomma says:

    If I was a cameraman, writer, etc on that show, now is the time to start looking–if not already–for another job. She is not loyal to the plebians, so don’t be surprised if she pulls the rug out from underneath you.

  16. Yoyoma says:

    I heard she’s been mean to everybody including Portia and her neighbors, her pharmacist and waiting staffers.. We should all stop worshipping celebrities and putting so much value to these awful people.

    • H says:

      I’ve read Anne and Portia’s autobiographies and the vibe I always got was Ellen was neither supportive or “kind.” I’ve never liked her.

  17. Sorella says:

    Not buying it. Her apology is still “we” versus “me”. There’s too many stories of her unkind gestures to NOT be true. I switch her off now – and even hearing her voice in the background, I run and turn the channel lol. Nope, sorry Ellen, I think you are mean and as someone else said it’s only “tricky to be the kind lady” only if you are unkind lol. But her lifestyle is a rich one and she’s a 60 year old women in showbiz, so she likes the BIG money of this job but seems to hate the job now.

  18. Anna S says:

    Yeah, I recognize that she did appear to be very emotional about having to give the speech, but I’m not sure she’s actually sorry for what she did. And she didn’t really say “I’m sorry I was awful to people.” She said she needed to grow and needed to work on patience, etc. I didn’t feel remorse from her. And I have always enjoyed her show. But this “apology” fell really flat for me. Not enough. And her show is a cash cow – that’s why it’s still on the air. If she had been a lesser money maker, she’d be toast. Show some actual remorse, Ellen. I’ll give you a second chance. But I need to believe you mean it.

  19. Blerg says:

    It is almost irrelevant whether she means the apologies or not. Private apologies matter to individual people she harmed, for sure, but Hollywood has this public-apology-so-I-can-resume-business-as-usual thing that is so bizarre to me. There is harm you do that should (theoretically) take you out of leadership and out of the public eye for the duration. It doesn’t mean you as a human are cancelled—go bloom and grow and become better and live better, sure, but just go be a private citizen and don’t presume to lead. Abusive leadership is symptomatic of character issues that aren’t fixed overnight, and you forfeit the spotlight.

  20. Abby says:

    Not if but when, Ellen. I cannot stand apologies that act like the accusation is still uncertain or unclear. You say, I’m sorry for when I let you down, I’m sorry for the things I’ve done that hurt you.

    None of this “if I ever did….”

    Take accountability!!!!!