• EWJ

Ellen Degeneres Career Retrospective

By: Ian Hill


After 17 years of her show, Ellen Degeneres has shown that she is likeable, funny, and often gives things away for free. However, she may not be as charming as most people think.


In April, the show’s crew expressed outrage that there was no message about hours or pay during the coronavirus. In July, Krystie Lee Yandoli, a Buzzfeed producer, stated that Ellen stood atop an office culture of “racism, fear, and intimidation.” Just one example of this is when a producer said to two black workers, “Oh wow, you both have box braids; I hope we don’t get you confused.” This is an extremely racist comment, as box braids are mostly used by black people. Former employees also said that they got fired for reasons such as going on medical leave and taking days off because of funerals.


A few days later, Degeneres wrote a letter to her staff, taking responsibility by saying that she was sorry and that she would be making changes. Soon after, Yandoli came out with another piece, saying that the executive producer, Kevin Leman, had groped staff members and solicited sexual favors at an office party, which Leman denied. Another executive producer, Ed Glavin, was also said to be “handsy with women.” Glavin did not respond to the comment.


Since then, there have been many rumors. Some speculate that Glavin will be removed, or that Ellen may end her show, giving her time slot to James Corden, the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden. Or perhaps Ellen will manage to recover and keep her show. Either way, these reports have damaged her reputation and image quite severely.


The fact that she managed to be liked so much is actually a small miracle. People did not think that a lesbian could ever become successful. In Relatable, one of her former shows, she says that she had to wear feminine jewelry because the station manager said that “no one is going to watch a lesbian during the day.”


However, after her many appearances in different shows, she proved that she was still likeable, and her marriage to Portia De Rossi just reinforced her warm, domesticated reputation. By 2018, she was making eighty seven million dollars per year, a large amount of which she donated to charity. Until now, no one knew what was really happening off camera.



https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/ellen-degeneress-relatability-crisis


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