'Ellen' Reportedly Losing Sponsors, A-List Guests in Wake of Toxic Workplace Scandal

Earlier this year, The Ellen DeGeneres Show was at the center of a toxic workplace scandal. After numerous current and former employees alleged that there was a toxic workplace environment on the set of the talk show, WarnerMedia launched an investigation into the allegations. Since then, another season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show has premiered with the host, Ellen DeGeneres, starting off the season by apologizing for what allegedly transpired behind-the-scenes. While it seems like the scandal has since blown over, Buzzfeed News recently reported that the show is losing advertisers, celebrity bookings, and ratings following the controversy.

An employee, who remained anonymous, told Buzzfeed News that the show and its digital content have fewer advertisers and sponsors compared to past years. They noted that this shift took place over the summer, which was around the time of the height of the controversy surrounding The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Another employee on the show, who also spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that staffers are not able to produce as much content because the show is not pulling in as much advertising money. They said, "We're trying to be a content house, but we have no content."

In December, The Ellen DeGeneres Show features the "12 Days of Giveaways" event, a typically popular segment that sees the show promoting brands whose products are then given to the audience. Since this year's event comes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the talk show program is focusing on giving gifts to frontline workers, first responders, medical workers, and families who have been impacted by the health crisis. Even though the show has implemented a smaller, in-studio audience for the event, the gifts are not on par with those that have been given out in celebrations of years past.


"In a typical year, '12 Days of Giveaways' is huge. We've basically claimed Christmas on daytime TV. When you think of Christmas on TV, you think of The Ellen Show," a current employee said. "Everyone wants to be in the audience. Everyone wants the gifts. And so we line up all these crazy sponsors, and people love it. But this year, our '12 Days' is more condensed. We don't have as many sponsors." The employee added, "This feels like our make-it-or-break-it moment. This will be our biggest report card. If we pick up sponsors by the new year, then we're cooking, we'll be fine, and we'll sell kindness in a bottle. But if we fail that report card, who knows."