Ellen DeGeneres fans have been going back through old videos from The Ellen DeGeneres Show in light of the toxic workplace environment allegations the show now faces, including one of the most awkward moments in the show's history. Back in 2017, DeGeneres tested her audience by putting out a table of free stuff from her souvenir shop, and they were each told to take only one item. There was a hidden camera set up, meaning that when one woman tried to take more than one item and DeGeneres called her out on it.
In the clip, which aired in June 2017, a woman is seen taking multiple items from the free table. When her friend asked if she was taking more stuff, the woman told her, "Shh. No." The woman even circled back to take more items from the table. While the footage was shown to the audience, DeGeneres' team had the camera trained on the woman, named Nancy, who was not happy to learn her actions were caught on camera.
Afterward, DeGeneres proceeded to lecture Nancy. She said she took the extra items as a souvenir for her sister, who could not make it to the show. "Yeah, a lot of people's sisters couldn't come," DeGeneres said. "I liked that you liked the products so much that you wanted to bring one back for your sister, but..." The host then told Nancy she was someone who takes a whole bowl of Halloween candy if someone is not at home.
"Let that be a lesson to you," DeGeneres told Nancy. "Because you think nobody is watching you and you just need to be a good person just because you want to be a good person. You go sit in that Ellen Jail over there right now." The audience laughed at this, but Nancy was then led to the stage where a tall chair was waiting for her.
i knee @TheEllenShow was mean when she shamed that fan for getting more than one free item lol during that segment— 🧜🏼♀️Jos🧜🏼♀️ (@jossan933) August 4, 2020
The video has resurfaced, along with other controversial scenes from the show, after WarnerMedia launched an investigation into allegations that DeGeneres' senior producers have fostered a toxic workplace environment. DeGeneres did apologize and vowed to make changes, but did not take responsibility for her producers. "As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't," DeGeneres wrote. "That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again."