Ms. DeGeneres’ public perception began to change in July when BuzzFeed reported that several former and current employees of the show said they encountered “racism, fear and intimidation” on the set. Several employees also said the producers sexually molested them. Warner Bros. examined the workplace and found “deficiencies”. Three senior producers were sacked, including Ed Glavin, an executive producer; Jonathan Norman, co-executive producer; and Kevin Leman, the chief writer. Ms. DeGeneres apologized to her staff before addressing her viewers in September.
Some observers believe the allegations may have weakened Ms. DeGeneres’ relationship with her audience. The presenter built her show as an oasis of the outside world, as a place of silly dancing, easy jokes, gifts of money for surprised viewers and prominent guests with high performance. A few years ago, she adopted the “be friendly” slogan in response to the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a gay college student who took his own life after being bullied.
“Not only is your brand pretty nice – it’s ‘Be Kind,'” said Stephen Galloway, dean of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. “She chose two words to stamp herself. You can’t let hypocrisy define any better than having selected these two words to define yourself and everyone will see the opposite is true on your show.
“The reason the incident with the producers was so difficult and dangerous is because for the first time something appeared to suggest that a family – Ellen’s own professional family – is no longer working,” he continued.
Ms. DeGeneres referred to her motto in her apology. “To be known as the Be Kind Lady is a difficult position,” she said. “So let me give you some advice. If someone is thinking of changing their title or giving themselves a nickname, then don’t go with the Be Kind Lady. “She added that she was indeed the happy person she appeared to be on TV, but also someone who experienced moments of sadness, fear and impatience.
In addition to her daily show, Ms. DeGeneres is also a prime-time star for NBC – and her show for that network, “Ellen’s Game of Games,” also a Warner production, has lost 32 percent of its viewers and 35 percent in adulthood this season Demographics that matter to advertisers.
Despite the complications affecting all talk shows during the pandemic, “Ellen” has seen a bigger drop than its rivals, losing 43 percent of the audience. Dr. Phil is down 22 percent and The Kelly Clarkson show is down 26 percent. Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s show is down 3 percent and Tamron Hall is down 9 percent .