While it may be true that there’s always two sides to every story, it’s fairly safe to say that it has been an utterly shit year for Ellen DeGeneres’ career in both.
After some seriously damning reports of a toxic work environment behind the scenes at The Ellen Show – which she denied any knowledge of – what followed was plummeting ratings and ultimately the decision to cancel the show at the end of its forthcoming 19th season.
Ellen – formerly a hugely popular household name and beloved comedian and celebrity – is now facing headlines along the lines of being ‘out of touch celebrity elite’, and having a ‘phony persona’, which ‘ended in a ratings bloodbath’ for her show.
Controversy for the star kicked off last year when comedian Kevin T. Porter took to Twitter offering charity donations in exchange for negative stories about the host.
Of course, the uncensored responses ranged from the ridiculous (that she ‘pushed someone’s head down a toilet’) to the slightly more believably concerning – but like with so many things when social media latches on to a trend, the damage was already done. Her ‘be kind’ persona had been called into question and people wanted answers.
In a later Buzzfeed article detailing stories from former employees, Ellen was accused of creating an environment riddled with racism, microaggressions and behind-the-scenes harassment from producers.
The stories kept rolling in and the host was forced to make an on-air apology regarding the reports. The problem being, a lot of people didn’t consider it a very good or sufficient apology.
Now, Ellen has sat down with The Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie to discuss the decision to call time on the talk show, in her first interview since the announcement of its cancellation.
“It was really interesting because I’m a woman and it did feel very misogynistic,” she said. “It felt like, I am a boss, I have a very successful show, I’ve never had any complaints about anything for 17 years, and all of a sudden, all at once, something happened….”
“Sexist?” asked Guthrie.
“I don’t know, I don’t know. Did feel weird.”
“People get picked on, but for four months straight?” she said, going on to suggest that the two back-to-back controversies felt “too orchestrated” and “too coordinated” to make sense.
“Suddenly someone was like, ‘Hey, you know what would be good clickbait? If the Be Kind Lady isn’t kind,’” she said. “It was so easy to use that.”
Check out the interview below. Do you think Ellen can salvage her career after this? Should she? Let us know in the comments!