'Turned our traumas into a joke': Ellen DeGeneres' staff slam 'inappropriate' apology

Current and former staffers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show have condemned the talk show host's public apology, calling it "inappropriate" and "tactical".

Buzzfeed News spoke to several of DeGeneres employees, reporting that many of them found the monologue she began her season premiere with "disingenuous and tone deaf". 

DeGeneres began season 18 of her daytime show by admitting "things happened here that never should have happened", following widespread allegations of a toxic working environment launched an internal inquiry by WarnerMedia. 

Still, the comedian's speech was peppered with jokes, including a sarcastic declaration that her summer had been "great", and advising fans never to give themselves the nickname the 'be kind lady', as she did. 

"Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her," one former employee told Buzzfeed anonymously. 

"When she said, 'Oh my summer was great' and that was supposed to be funny I thought, 'It's funny that you had a rough summer because everyone was calling out all of the allegations of your toxic work environment and now you’re the one suffering?'" another former employee said.

One previous staffer pointed out: "There's nothing wrong with being the 'be kind lady' if you’re actually true to your word." 

DeGeneres said she was "so sorry to the people who were affected" during her speech, but given the severity of the the allegations - including racism, sexual harassment and bullying - many of those who had worked for the show were disappointed with her use of humour. 

"When you're talking about people who have accused her leadership of the seriousness of sexual misconduct, I don't think it's appropriate to have jokes in the monologue," one former employee said. 

A staffer still employed by The Ellen Show said that all the worker's duties were put "on hold" until DeGeneres delivered her long-awaited monologue, which they say was timed to be "tactical". 

"The average person will listen to it and make their own choices, but what people don't always take into account is that information is power, and she's sharing it now because it's for premiere week and it's to get viewers back, and that just feels the opposite of what this message is about," the employee said. 

Meanwhile, one of the former employees who had been involved in WarnerMedia's recent investigation said DeGeneres had a responsibility to follow up with the people affected rather than make them watch her show to hear an apology. 

"Say something like, 'We're so sorry this happened to you,' not for Ellen to go on air and say, 'I heard this happened and I'm sorry if it happened to you.'"