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Queerty: Well, the reviews are in and nobody seems to be buying Ellen’s on-air apology


Embattled daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres thought she could squash an entire summer of scandals with a heartfelt, six-minute on-air apology during the season 18 premiere of her show, but it appears she may have miscalculated how deeply hurt and upset people still are.

Season 18 of The Ellen Degeneres Show premiered yesterday and kicked off with the comic finally addressing her and the show’s turbulent hiatus.

“How was everybody’s summer — good? Mine was great,” Ellen said, before talking about all the things she’s “learned things that happened here that never should have happened.”

“I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected,” DeGeneres said. “I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

Now, several current and former employees of The Ellen Degeneres Show are speaking to Buzzfeed, which first broke the story earlier this summer, about how they feel about Ellen’s remarks and–surprise!–they’re not buying any of it.

“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee says.

Another adds: “When she said, ‘Oh, my summer was great’ and that was supposed to be funny I thought, ‘It’s funny that you had a rough summer because everyone was calling out all of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?’”

And a third one notes, “The right thing would be to follow up with these people who are humans who were affected by this. They have a responsibility to kind of close this chapter of our lives and move on.”

“It just feels like there’s no ending to this for people who came forward and said things that happened to them and reopened these wounds and rehashed these memories.”

A current employee tells Buzzfeed that there’s still a lot of chaos behind-the-scenes, with higher-ups not being forthcoming about, frankly, anything. They also they don’t buy Ellen’s apology, suggesting the whole thing is calculated and insincere.

“It’s always tactical,” the employee says. “The average person will listen to it and make their own choices, but what people don’t always take into account is that information is power, and she’s sharing it now because it’s for premiere week and it’s to get viewers back, and that just feels the opposite of what this message is about.”

They add they’re disappointed Ellen chose to make “inappropriate jokes” while discussing her employees’ genuine traumas.

“When you’re talking about people who have accused her leadership of the seriousness of sexual misconduct, I don’t think it’s appropriate to have jokes in the monologue.”

Giving credit where credit is due, the current employee says it was “amazing” to hear her finally address the show’s toxic work culture after it had been swept under the rug for so many years.

“It’s kind of amazing that this is being discussed on her show,” the employee says. “To actually go from an environment where nothing is said and everyone keeps their head down to now when it’s the topic of her first show back is pretty amazing.”

“Whether or not I believe in this message that she is saying is another issue.”

Interestingly, at the end of Monday’s episode, Ellen didn’t close with her signature “be kind” message. Instead, she told viewers, “Feel this love and I’m giving it back to you, and spread that in the world. Spread that, not other things–just the good stuff is what we should spread. Alright, bye, everybody.”

So how did people on Twitter respond to Ellen’s apology? Well, it looks like those reviews are rather lukewarm as well…

Queerty