What is going on with Ellen DeGeneres?

By Nina Steele 

Ellen DeGeneresI have been watching clips of the Ellen DeGeneres show on Facebook for a while now. As far as I am concerned, the show is all about giving and being nice. Well, apparently, the being nice part is all for show. Some past guests have come forward to say that Ellen is not the nice person she is portrayed to be and that they were treated poorly when the cameras were turned off. And even worse, some employees, both past and present, have been sharing their experience of working on the show, and the picture isn’t a pretty one. Suddenly, Ellen has gone from being a much loved celebrity and the queen of daytime TV, to being vilified.

I think it’s fair to say that 2020 is proving to be quite a ruthless year. Everything we knew is changing in front of our eyes and there is not much that we can do about it. At the beginning of the lockdown, I remember the strong sense of community we all felt. Celebrities were trying to do their bit to lift spirits, holed up in their mansions.

I saw a few clips from Ellen, and didn’t make much of it at the time. Apparently, she made a faux pas by complaining that being in lockdown was like being in jail. That from someone reportedly worth over $275 million, was never going to go down well, considering the many job losses and financial woes so many people are experiencing right now. She was rightly criticised for it and that added to the anger that was already building up against her.

It is one thing when past guests come forward to say that you are not as nice as people think you are, and a completely different matter when employees share stories of a toxic work environment, including stories of sexual harassment. From what I understand, the accusations of sexual harassment are being denied by those accused. Even so, knowing how the internet works, the damage to the show’s reputation has been done, so much so that there is even talk of the fact that it may not survive. Only time will tell what happens next.

I like Ellen and have written about her before. I don’t agree with this new narrative that is trying to portray her as being all fake. Why? Because unlike many celebrities without children, she never misses an opportunity to tell her audience how happy she is to be childfree. I like that about celebrities because it makes a difference, particularly when you are of Ellen’s calibre. Too many times, celebrities without children have been almost apologetic about their choice instead of owning it. Well, not Ellen, even though most of the people that watch her show are parents.

I wish her well and hope that she can bounce back from this. The fact that she hasn’t been personally accused of any of the more serious offences bodes well for her. Obviously, the way her show is run will need to change, and considering what is at stake, I am sure that those changes will happen sooner rather than later.

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