'The Ellen Show' sets return date, and yes, she plans to address the recent controversy

Season 18 premieres Monday, September 21st.
September 8, 2020 9:23 p.m. EST
September 11, 2020 5:22 p.m. EST
It’s been a tough few months for Ellen Degeneres. While the world responded to the evolving COVID-19 crisis, it seemed another storm was brewing, as former employees of the beloved talk show host came forward with accusations of a "toxic work environment" at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Internal allegations included mention of racial insensitivity, staff mistreatment, sexual misconduct, and the cultivation of a “culture of fear.”Of course, this in itself is hardly a new narrative — Hollywood studios and stars have, oftentimes, faced backlash as staff complaints and varying allegations bubbled to the surface in the realm of public (and media) opinion. For Degeneres though, the blow was rather unexpected and has seemingly divided fans and celebrities alike. Kevin Hart vocally defended her, while Mariah Carey admitted Ellen made her uncomfortable in the past. But for anyone who thought the recent controversy could spell the end for the long celebrated talk show — think again. The Ellen Show returns for season 18 on Monday, Sept. 21 on CTV.And yes, DeGeneres assures us, they plan to talk about it. ‘It’ in this case, being the elephant in the room, or the question on everyone’s mind — Do the frequent assertions Ellen makes surrounding the importance of kindness and empathy apply, in equal measure, off-camera and to staff? Basically, does the day-time star truly practice what she preaches? Or is this another example of problematic Hollywood power dynamics?In a recent statement speaking to the show’s return, DeGeneres made it clear she isn’t planning on shying away from the topic. “I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio,” she said. “And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it."Although filming will take place back on the Ellen stage, the show will be filmed without a studio audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. During the first week back, DeGeneres will welcome Tiffany Haddish, Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin, and Chrissy Teigen to kick-start the new season. The guest roster for the rest of the month is equally impressive, with Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Adam Sandler and Orlando Bloom currently confirmed.[video_embed id='2017026']WATCH: ‘Ellen Show’ fires three top producers after investigation[/video_embed]Fan-favourite, Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, who has served as the show’s DJ since 2014 and has since been promoted to co-executive producer, will also reportedly guest-host some upcoming episodes. The pair have shared an obvious bond both on-screen and off over the last few years, and tWitch has repeatedly come to Ellen’s defence while addressing the recent allegations.Speaking with US Weekly, tWitch explained, “We can't speak too much legally about it, but I'll say this, there's been love. Obviously there's some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there's been love. I'll just leave it at that until there's a time where we can address more publicly. There's been love and there will continue to be love."These updates arrive weeks after The Ellen Show ousted three tenured producers, including Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman. Although the decision seemingly came in response to the ongoing investigation into workplace culture, the producers have denied any wrongdoing.DeGeneres also reportedly apologized to her staff during an emotional Zoom meeting last month. During the call, the comedian explained that she is introverted in nature and, “has good and bad days,” which often prompt her to keep to herself. She realizes, now, that this could be misinterpreted as her "not being nice."DeGeneres also admitted that, of course, she’s not perfect, but is a multi-layered person who tries to be the best she can be, while learning from her mistakes. Degeneres has also reportedly updated her staff perks package to include additional paid time off and an improved medical leave policy.[video_embed id='2007574']WATCH: ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ accused of having a toxic work environment[/video_embed]

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