Filming for Ellen will pick up again starting September 21, with the crew of the daytime television show returning to the Warner Bros. lot to film after taking a break because of the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of things will be different this time around — there won't be an audience in-studio, and the production team is also a few people short after the firings of several problematic executives named in the ongoing investigation of the show's toxic workplace.
In July, Buzzfeed News released a report detailing shocking claims made by former and current Ellen staffers. In the exposé, a number of anonymous employees revealed that the show's "be kind" motto wasn't applicable behind-the-scenes. Employees claimed they dealt with racism, intimidation, and even sexual harassment. Head writer and executive producer Kevin Leman, executive producer Ed Glavin, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman were named in the allegations, leading Warner Bros. to launch an official internal investigation and fire the three men.
The backstage drama spilled out over the internet, with many calling for DeGeneres to relinquish her hosting gig to someone else. Several clips from the show caused the hashtag #ReplaceEllen to begin trending on Twitter, and a number of stars within her close circle spoke out in support of her; amidst the drama, wife Portia de Rossi, Katy Perry, and Sofia Vergara made it clear that they are Team Ellen.
Months later, Ellen will make its television return on Monday, September 21, and the new episodes will be marked, in typical Ellen-style, by a number of high-profile celebrity appearances — Kerry Washington, Tiffany Haddish, Adam Sandler, Orlando Bloom, and Chris Rock are all scheduled to drop by this season. A statement from the daytime show reveals also that before the new season officially kicks off, DeGeneres plans on addressing the controversy on camera.
"I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio," said DeGeneres in a statement. "And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it."
Talking about the firestorm that has surrounded her talk show with her loyal fans is a smart idea, but is it too little, too late for that important conversation? We'll just have to find out how things play out for Ellen when the show returns for season 18 in two weeks.