Ellen DeGeneres reveals talk show return plans: 'Yes, we're gonna talk about it'
Yup, she's back.
Ellen DeGeneres revealed her talk show return plans Tuesday.
The embattled host announced a return date for The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a guest lineup.
“I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio," DeGeneres said. "And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it."
"It," of course, is the fact that DeGeneres has been accused of fostering a "toxic" work environment that led to a behind-the-scenes shakeup and widespread speculation that the show might be canceled.
The show returns for season 18 on Monday, Sept. 21.
Actress-comedian Tiffany Haddish — who recently revealed that she is one of the many who tested positive for COVID-19 — will join DeGeneres in-studio and help kick off the new season. There will also be premiere week appearances by Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin, and Chrissy Teigen. Later in the month, DeGeneres plans to welcome Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Adam Sandler, and Orlando Bloom.
The show also announced that Stephen “tWitch” Boss – who has been the DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2014 – will guest host upcoming episodes of the series this fall. The DJ has been a voice of support for DeGeneres in recent weeks, but having him step in as a host will likely raise some eyebrows given all the speculation about whether DeGeneres herself will continue hosting the talk show in the long term.
"We can't speak too much legally about it, but I'll say this, there's been love," Boss told US Weekly about the controversy. "Obviously there's some things to address, but from my standpoint and from countless others, there's been love. I'll just leave it at that until there's a time where we can address more publicly. There's been love and there will continue to be love." Boss' predecessor DJ Tony Okungbowa, however, has backed up claims about "the toxicity of the environment" on the show.
The talk show plans to resume filming on its usual Warner Bros. stage, only without an in-studio audience.
Over the course of just a few months, DeGeneres has gone from a daytime queen with the mantra "be kind" to a vilified figure on social media. A slew of employees and others have accused the trailblazing talk show host of fostering a toxic work environment, one that included allegations of sexual misconduct, racism, and a "culture of fear." In recent weeks, studio 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, has repeatedly apologized to her staff. As previously reported by EW, DeGeneres 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 was heard saying. "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.