Source - Ellen DeGeneres publicly apologized Monday amid allegations of misconduct on her show, but current and former employees say they found her monologue to be disingenuous and tone-deaf given the severity of their experiences.
Employees told BuzzFeed News they didn’t appreciate DeGeneres making light of their allegations of toxicity, racism, sexual harassment, and misconduct by sarcastically asking viewers, “How was everybody’s summer? Good, yeah? Mine was great. Super terrific,” and then telling them, “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.”
“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee said.
“When she said, ‘Oh, my summer was great’ and that was supposed to be funny I thought, ‘It’s funny that you had a rough summer because everyone was calling out all of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?’” another former employee said. ...
“It’s always tactical,” [a current] employee said. “The average person will listen to it and make their own choices, but what people don’t always take into account is that information is power, and she’s sharing it now because it’s for premiere week and it’s to get viewers back, and that just feels the opposite of what this message is about.” ...
“When you’re talking about people who have accused her leadership of the seriousness of sexual misconduct, I don’t think it’s appropriate to have jokes in the monologue,” a former employee said.
And this, children, is Reason No. 1,482,829 why you never apologize. Not ever. Show me one example of a public apology that ever got a reaction of, "Now there's someone who sincerely regrets their actions and is trying to be better. I'm taking this in the spirit it was intended. None of us are perfect and I think this is a case where we all need to find it in our hearts to forgive this person."
On second thought, let me save you the trouble. You won't find one.
Here's the other lesson. In fact, Ellen said it herself: Don't try to pass yourself off as the "be kind" person if you're not. I mean, some bosses are genuinely kind. It's how they're hardwired. I have no doubt that if you're a few minutes late to work because you missed your train or you can't stay late because you've got a soccer game to coach, Pope Francis doesn't bitch you out in front of the rest of the Vatican staff. Michael Scott caught Dwight faking an appointment with his dentist Dr. Crentist to go behind Michael's back and get control of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton. And he let him off with a hug and by making him do his laundry for a month.
But like them, if you're going to pass yourself off as Mr. Nice Boss, you'd better back it up. No one expects apologies out of stern taskmasters who hold you to a high standard. I've been working for Dave Portnoy for like 16 years. Do you think I'm worried about my "trauma" and our "toxic work environment" every time we get a blast email saying people aren't pulling their weight and we need to do more? No. I just try to pull more weight and do more because that's the job. Because he's trying to push us to continue on our relentless pursuit of global domination. And because he's never pretended he's Mr. Rogers and we work in the Neighborhood. Hell, back in the 2000s, I was on a bowling team with him. Try having an off night in the playoffs like poor Pete Manzo did and tell me you'd expect Dave to spare someone's feelings.
There is no doubt in my mind Ellen is a nightmare to work for. Like a lot of people who run empires, she's a tyrant. It's been confirmed by a lot of people it's her management style. But it's worked. You can anonymously call her out for being a hypocrite and, cowardly though that may be, it's fair game. But when there's a job to do, fuck your feelings. Her show doesn't exist to make production assistants and camera operators have happy days and positive self images. If you want that, go rescue a Corgi.
Oh, Ellen turned all this bad press into a joke and that offends you? Where does she get off putting your pain and suffering into her monologue and making the audience laugh? Oh right. That's her job. That's what puts eyeballs on screens, keeps the lights on and puts money into your checking account. Piss off if you don't like it. Go work for someone who's more interest in your emotional state than profits and see how long they stay in business.
The bottom line is Ellen is doing exactly what she's accused of: Using this "to get viewers back." Which is exactly what she should be doing. I think she's a fraud too but I respect the move. And would respect her more if she told her unhappy employees what I just said instead of issuing phony apologies.