The daily beast
Dakota Johnson didn’t kill Ellen DeGeneres’ brand. Ellen did it herself.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos via Getty The news fell fast on Wednesday morning: First came the Daily Mail report that Ellen DeGeneres has decided to end her talk show after 19 seasons, thanks in part to the drop in her ratings (DeGeneres’ rep) vehemently rejected the report). Less than an hour later, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with the comedian who claimed she was leaving the show because it was no longer a “challenge.” In the hours that followed, the interview was filmed on Twitter, often accompanied by stills of Dakota Johnson, before she aired the comedian in five little words: That’s not the truth, Ellen … According to THR, the decision to quit was Ellen after years of planning, finally by DeGeneres himself. (DeGeneres told the New York Times in 2018 that she toyed with the idea.) Even so, it’s difficult to ignore the timing of this publication – less than a year after the toxic work allegations made Ellen controversial, and Months later revealed that the show had lost more than a million viewers. DeGeneres addressed her upcoming exit in a monologue during the recording on Wednesday, which she published on Twitter that evening. During her speech, as in the THR interview, the comedian emphasized that the decision is a long time coming: “This show was the greatest experience of my life and I owe you everything,” said Degeneres. “The truth is, I always trust my instincts; My instincts told me it was time. “She remembered her fateful decision to come out in 1997 and a dream she had before making the decision that a bird would break free from a cage before adding,” I recently had a dream that bird, a beautiful bird with bright red feathers, came to my window and whispered, “You can still do things on Netflix.” And that was the sign I was looking for. “Today is a great day. The next season is a big one. pic.twitter.com/Ii4m9IDuYv – Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 13, 2021 Regardless of whose decision it was to turn off the lights on Ellen, the closure on toxic allegations in the workplace is a symbol of a change in the entertainment industry while Hollywood continues its work to dismantle the domineering and ultimately degrading power structures that have defined it for so long. People are finally starting to see the real Ellen DeGeneres, and eradicating sexual predators isn’t nice. The #MeToo movement and organizations like Time’s Up have brought Hollywood’s toxic, hierarchical culture to the fore in public conversation, highlighting abuse of power for too long to run rampant. It’s not just sexual abusers like Harvey Weinstein who topple; In a sign of the times, Scott Rudin, whose alleged abusive behavior towards coworkers has been an open secret for years, is finally being held accountable after his former co-workers recently spoke in a Hollywood Reporter exposé, followed by another in New York Magazine. (Rudin has since made vague apologies and produced plays with Barry Diller, chairman of IAC, the parent company of The Daily Beast.) Ellen staff didn’t accuse DeGeneres of abuse when she appeared in a damn report for BuzzFeed last summer. It was producers who they claimed immortalized the toxic environment. But as one source put it, “If [DeGeneres] If she has her own show and wants her name on the title of the show, she has to be more involved to see what’s going on. “The rumble of the Ellen DeGeneres Show began back in 2014 when former Ellen chief writer Karen Kilgariff, The Daily Beast reported, told Marc Maron that she was fired from the show after refusing to picket the picket line in 2008 “. Strike. DeGeneres has reportedly not spoken to Kilgariff since then. “But the dam really began to break last April when a viral thread gathered an alarming number of unconfirmed anecdotes about DeGeneres’ allegedly mean behavior – including, perhaps most damagingly, the suggestion that DeGeneres refused to make eye contact with interns. This month, Variety reported that the show’s top producers had not properly communicated with staff about how the pandemic would affect their work hours and pay, and hired a non-union company to run the show from DeGeneres’ house to film. (A Warner Bros. Television representative at the time told Variety that crew members’ hours had been reduced but they were consistently paid. Regarding communication issues, the representative cited complications due to the chaos caused by COVID-19. The situation worsened in July when former employees told BuzzFeed that the behind-the-scenes environment of the show was full of racism and intimidation. A follow-up story earlier this month highlighted allegations of sexual misconduct among top producers. After an investigation, Warner Bros. sacked producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman. A representative said in a statement that in addition to the personnel changes, the studio had also “identified suitable measures to remedy the problems addressed and was taking the first steps to implement them”. DeGeneres apologized in a memo to her staff when the allegations first surfaced and the controversy was addressed in an apology monologue when her show re-aired in September. “I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and I have realized that there is responsibility involved,” she said at the time, “and I take responsibility for what happens on my show.” (She largely denied the Twitter allegations in her THR interview on Wednesday.) But DeGeneres’ brand already had a few flaws when its employees started speaking out – and even before Johnson went wrong in late 2019. In January of this year, DeGeneres tried to help Kevin Hart restore his reputation after his previous homophobic tweets resurfaced online. Hart initially doubled up instead of apologizing, although he would later issue a mea culpa when he announced he was stepping down from the gig.) Throughout the interview, DeGeneres defended Hart and even allowed him to argue that he was repeating himself had apologized for tweets, an assertion that failed the test. She further announced that she had called the academy personally to lobby for his reinstatement. “There are so many haters out there,” added DeGeneres. “Whatever is going on on the internet, don’t pay attention to them. It’s a small group of people who are very, very loud. “They can’t destroy you because you have too much talent,” DeGeneres said to her guest, before complaining that those who spoke out against his homophobic statements were trying to “keep you from your dreams – the what you wanted to do and what you are allowed to do, what you should do. “It was both disturbing and disheartening to see DeGeneres – an on-screen trailblazer for queer people who once lost their jobs after getting out – working hard to help Hart become accountable for his homophobes To withdraw utterances. But it wouldn’t be the last annoying decision she’d make this year. Months later, in October, she waved off criticism for hanging out with George W. Bush at a soccer game. DeGeneres addressed the photo of her and Bush on the air and told her audience, “Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs as I do. We’re all different and I think we forgot that’s okay. “Just because I disagree with someone on anything doesn’t mean I won’t be friends with them,” added DeGeneres. “When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t just mean people who think the same way you do. I mean, be nice to everyone. It does not matter. “That statement perfectly distilled the confused ethos that underpins the DeGeneres brand as it exists today. (The video of their Bush monologue was later posted on YouTube, titled “This Photo of Ellen & George W. Bush Will Bring You Back Confidence in America.”) Those who grew up watching DeGeneres rise know that her success is difficult. won; She came out on TV and in real life in 1997 only to see her show get canceled and become the target of fundamentalists like Jerry Falwell, who smeared her as “Ellen DeGenerate”. It took her three years to get back on the air. It is easy to imagine that for some, the DeGeneres legacy will always begin and end with this struggle. But the brand that DeGeneres built almost feels disconnected from that past now. When I get the chance to tweet Hart for things like, “Yo, when my son comes home and tries to play with my daughter’s dollhouse, I do it over my head and say in my voice,” Stop that is gay. ”DeGeneres chose instead to label his critics as“ haters ”and allow him to characterize their concerns as“ malicious attacks. ”When asked why it could be bad for her to deal with the man, who ran on a platform of “compassionate conservatism” made nice before advocating a constitutional amendment to restrict gay marriage to secure his re-election – not to mention let’s say Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq – DeGeneres ruled instead, to defend her right to hang out with, in other words, when given the opportunity to choose between power and accountability, she again sided with d he makes. This approach to celebrities feels increasingly inappropriate. It was easy to imagine when Ellen’s toxic allegations first surfaced in the workplace that DeGeneres could potentially get out of the controversy after a brief apology tour. Now that the comedian has finished her daytime vehicle – her fans’ main point of contact for decades – her way forward is a little less clear. But that doesn’t mean DeGeneres will be disappearing from our screens anytime soon. She still has several series with Warner Bros. on the way and an extensive development deal with Discovery +. The question now is simply whether she will use these vehicles as a venue for the maintenance of a new brand. One could argue, and many likely will, that DeGeneres does not need to be renamed. After all, quitting her show was a completely voluntary decision. But if she is looking for a “challenge” this could be a good place to start. Read more at The Daily Beast. Do you have a tip? Submit it to The Daily Beast here. Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now! 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