The Ellen Show has made its return today for its 18th season, after a hiatus that was marred with accusations of a toxic work environment, racially insensitive remarks and sexual misconduct.
Ellen DeGeneres bore the brunt of the criticism, with three of the show’s producers having exited the program between seasons. Now, on the first episode of the new season, DeGeneres has apologised.
“As you may have heard this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres said in an opening monologue.
“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 who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
She also said that the team at the show have had “a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future.
“We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”
She also addressed allegations that she was mean, despite the overtly kind persona she pushes on air.
“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.”
The allegations around the environment behind the scenes began on social media, with BuzzFeed News then doing an extensive report that spurred an internal investigation.
Watch the full monologue here.