Alec Baldwin supports Ellen DeGeneres despite recent talk show controversy
While virtually appearing on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show on Wednesday, Alec Baldwin supported the host despite the recent controversy regarding allegations of a toxic workplace environment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Baldwin called in via video chat to publicly share words of encouragement before talking about his new son. "I have followed your career from when you were doing stand-up and you were a solo performer," Baldwin said. "I have watched the films you've done, and I've watched your success on this TV show, and you are one of the funniest and most talented women, one of the most funny and talented people, in all of show business. We all have some patches of white water here, but you keep going. Don’t you stop doing what you’re doing."
DeGeneres then thanked Baldwin for his support. "That means so much to me, I appreciate it," she said. "There have been some rapids and I am maneuvering the raft. But thank you so much for saying that."
The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned on Monday for the first episode since the daytime talk show came under investigation for being a toxic workplace after many employees came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, racism, and a "culture of fear." And in the opening moments of the season 18 premiere, DeGeneres addressed the controversy to her virtual audience.
"If you're watching, because you love me, thank you," DeGeneres said. "If you're watching it because you don't love me, welcome. How was everybody's summer? Good. Yeah, mine was great. Terrific. 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."
"As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show," she continued. "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. I realized 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. My name is there. My name is on underwear. 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."
In the wake of the investigation, Warner Bros. confirmed that executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman have left the show (and have denied any wrongdoing). DeGeneres, meanwhile, repeatedly apologized to her staff. She spoke in a Zoom meeting with her staff on Aug. 17 about being introverted and having good days and bad days, which caused her to keep to herself at times, something she acknowledged could be misinterpreted as her not being nice. “Does that mean I’m perfect? No. I’m not," she said. "I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and I try to learn from my mistakes." The staff was also given a new perks package that included additional paid time off and an improved medical leave policy.