VIDEO: Ellen DeGeneres APOLOGIZES And Accepts Blame For “Toxic” Work Environment

( Following months of reports about the “toxic” work environment for production staff at the Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres herself has accepted responsibility and apologized. During the opening monologue for the 18th season of her daytime talk show, the host addressed allegations head-on and said she was sorry.

“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” she said to her virtual audience. “I learned that things happened here that should have never happened.”

DeGeneres said that she takes it very seriously and that she wanted to say “sorry to the people who were affected.”

It all started with an article and investigation from BuzzFeed News, alleging that several former employees of the show witnessed the show’s head writer Kevin Leman groping and making sexual remarks to many employees. One former employee said that Leman asked him if he could perform oral sex on him in a bathroom at a party in 2013. Another employee told BuzzFeed that they saw Leman groping a production assistant in his car.

Allen addressed her “position of privilege and power” and said that she takes responsibility for what happens at her show.

“This is ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’ I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there, my name is there, my name is on underwear,” she said.  “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace, and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”

DeGeneres also took the opportunity to address allegations about her personal behavior with staff behind the scenes. Many former employees described how, in private, DeGeneres is rude and cold.

“There were also articles in the press and on social media that said I am not who I appeared to be on TV because I became known as the ‘be kind’ lady,” she said. “And here’s what happened, I started saying, ‘be kind to one another’ after a young man named Tyler Clementi took his own life after being bullied for being gay.”

“Being known as the ‘be kind’ lady is a tricky position to be in. So let me give you some advice out there if anybody’s thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the ‘be kind’ lady. Don’t do it,” she continued.

DeGeneres then insisted that she is the person that people see on TV, but admitted that sometimes she gets anxious, frustrated, impatient, and mad.

“I am working on all of that,” she added. Which is fair.

The question of whether she knew about the issues behind the scenes, however, is still being asked by many in the press – as well as her former employees.

A lawyer representing Kevin Leman, who was fired as a result of the allegations, claimed that DeGeneres fired an “innocent man” based on a “deeply flawed” report. Leman denies the accusations.