Can Ellen Recover From Avalanche of Bad Press?

She plans to be back, but rumors are circulating about possible replacements
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2020 1:24 PM CDT
Can Ellen Recover From Avalanche of Bad Press?
Ellen DeGeneres is in a world of controversy.   (Photo by Mark Von Holden /Invision/AP, File)

Not too long ago, Ellen DeGeneres had the reputation of being one of the nicest people in show business. But a steady cascade of negative stories about how she treats people—staffers and guests alike—has not only put a big dent in that reputation but raised questions about the future of her show. The latest:

  • A primer: If you need a thorough rehashing of all the things that have come out, start with this Washington Post story. DeGeneres herself began poking holes in her reputation as the world's friendliest celeb with a Netflix standup special Relatable in 2018, and in an interview in the New York Times in December of that year headlined, "Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think."
  • Latest report: A new story about DeGeneres is out in the Wrap in which former producer Hedda Muskat speaks of a "culture of fear" on the set, calls DeGeneres a "toxic host," and adds that executive producer Ed Glavin contributed to all of the above in full view of DeGeneres and was not reined in by her.

  • Coming back: The New York Post reports that DeGeneres plans to be back for her show's return on Sept. 9—and before that for a Game of Games special later this month. The report adds that DeGeneres is said to be "devastated" that celebs such as Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson have publicly backed reports of mean behavior on the set. (Last week, BuzzFeed came out with a story about the "toxic" atmosphere on the show. That prompted an investigation by WarnerMedia and an apology from DeGeneres.)
  • Piling on: Newsweek has a list of other celebs, not just Garrett and Thompson, who have joined the anti-Ellen parade, including comedian and podcaster Kevin T. Porter, who has been soliciting nasty stories about her via Twitter. He calls her "notoriously one of the meanest people alive."
  • In support: DeGeneres' wife, actress Portia de Rossi, posted a graphic reading "I stand by Ellen" on Instagram Monday and thanked fans for supporting them, per US Weekly.
  • Dakota's visit: A post at Showbiz 411 says the "beginning of the end" for DeGeneres came in November, when actress Dakota Johnson appeared on the show and contradicted DeGeneres when the host said she hadn't been invited to Johnson's birthday party. "Actually, no, that's not the truth, Ellen," said Johnson. The exchange has since been in wide circulation.
  • Rumors: As all this settles, the British tabloid the Sun reports that CBS late-night host James Corden is a top contender to replace DeGeneres at NBC. But Twitter has other ideas, ranging from RuPaul to Jerry Seinfeld, per the New York Post.
(Read more Ellen DeGeneres stories.)

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