I don't know how to feel. I don't know what to believe. I freaking wrote about Ellen DeGeneres in my college essay, for crying out loud, but now I feel like a fool. Among the 2020 craziness was the Ellen Degeneres controversy that shook her reputation. Comedian Kevin T. Porter encouraged people to share their awful experiences about Ellen and The Ellen Show, and stories came flooding in. On top of that, crew members were mistreated during quarantine and the pandemic and they were rightfully furious.
Regardless of the internal investigation and reports that included "claims of being penalized for taking medical leave, instances of racial microaggressions and fear of retribution for raising complaints" plus sexual misconduct allegations, The Ellen Show premiered with Season 18.
Ellen hides behind her "Be Kind" slogan, but how could she let this toxic work environment go on for so long? If people remained quiet would Ellen have ever said anything? Would she have fired her three top producers? We all know Hollywood is fake and full of lies, so who knows.
Ellen DeGeneres has apologized to her staff and now us, but I won't believe it until I see it. Or hear it, I guess. Friendly people don't need a disclaimer that they are kind and respectful – it's that simple.
Nevertheless, celebrities continue to run to her side. For instance, Demi Lovato commented, "You are the person people see on tv. You are kind, generous, and caring. This video was a perfect representation of that. I love you Ellen." This is all messing with my mind. Who do I believe? Although I admire Demi Lovato among other celebrities, these are all privileged folk who obviously will have good experiences with Ellen. And, as Ellen always says, "Be kind to everyone" – the everyone part is what matters.
Within Ellen's apology, she mentions that being labeled and branded the "Be Kind" lady is tricky. Yet, being kind isn't supposed to be tricky. Either you are kind or you're not. There's no in-between. And Ellen is the one who branded herself in the first place.
I respect Ellen for acknowledging that she is human and has feelings, but the toxic work allegations were real. Yes, it's true that celebrities are human and they make mistakes, but she had to know that her employees were abused in one way or another. There is a lot that needs to be done to rebuild the trust that was once there.
According to Ellen, this is a new chapter, but I don't think I can support her the same way I did before. I definitely won't be writing another college essay all about how much I admire her.