How Ellen DeGeneres' Staff Reacted to Emotional Monologue Amid Backstage Controversy

Season 18 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered on Monday. Naturally, since the show has been at the center of controversy over the past several months due to toxic workplace allegations, host Ellen DeGeneres addressed the matter in her opening monologue. How did the show's staff react to DeGeneres' emotional monologue? According to Entertainment Tonight, it was an all-around emotional time for both DeGeneres and the show's staff.

ET reported that the crew applauded DeGeneres after she delivered her monologue. "Ellen seems more open with staff. The vibe from all staff and crew in week one was more positive and enthusiastic," a source told the publication. "Portia was there for support, but she's often there, so it wasn't that unusual." Over the past several months, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has dealt with controversy after former, and current staffers alleged that there was a toxic work environment on the show. In response to these allegations, WarnerMedia launched an investigation in which they spoke to employees about their experiences on set. Three of the show's top producers — Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and Jonathan Norman — were subsequently fired from the program. The show later brought on resident DJ Stephen 'tWitch' Boss as an executive producer.

DeGeneres reportedly sent out a memo to her staff in which she apologized for what allegedly transpired on the show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she wrote, "I'm so so sorry for what this has become. I've left this to be a well-oiled machine, and I realize it's not a machine…its human beings. I apologize for anyone who's feelings I've hurt. I'm not perfect. I'm multi-layered and I learn from my mistakes. I care about each and every one of you. I'm grateful for each and every one of you."

DeGeneres had a similarly apologetic tone during her opening monologue on Monday. "I'm so happy to be back in the studio. There are a lot of things I want to talk about. I've been looking forward to addressing it all directly and, unfortunately, talking directly to people has been illegal for six months, so I have a virtual audience here instead," the host said. "As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was an investigation. 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 who were affected. 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."