Alec Baldwin is lending his support to Ellen DeGeneres as her talk show returned for its 18th season Monday after a summer plagued with controversy amid an internal investigation into allegations of a toxic workplace on set. The actor appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday, which the daytime host said "means so much" to her before asking about his newest family member.
"Before we talk about my kids, Ellen, I just want to say, you are someone, I've followed your career from when you were doing standup and you were a solo performer," Baldwin responded. "I've watched the films you've done and I've watched your success on this TV show, and you are one of the funniest and most talented women, one of the most funny and talented people in all of show business. We all have some patches of white water here, but you keep going. Don't you stop doing what you're doing."
DeGeneres appeared to be moved by his reply, saying she appreciated his words. "Yeah, there have been some rapids and I'm maneuvering the raft," she added. "You just keep moving forward because it's not the same without you. You're funny," Baldwin insisted. "We need you. We need you, we need you. Keep log rolling as best you can, OK?" DeGeneres ended that part of their discussion, "I'm going to do it. I'm going to stay on the log."
During Monday's season premiere, the Finding Dory actress addressed reports from BuzzFeed News over the summer that former and current staffers had experienced racism, harassment and sexual misconduct on set. Executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, all of whom were named in the allegations, were fired by the show after an internal investigation, and DeGeneres apologized for her role in the "toxic" culture during Monday's show.
"I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected," she told the audience. "I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres."
She also addressed reports of her own behavior being less than kind. "The truth is, I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things," she explained. "Sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress."