The decision, which fell to DeGeneres, is said to have been several years in the making. She informed her staff May 11, and will sit down with longtime pal and daytime predecessor Oprah Winfrey to discuss the news on Ellen‘s May 13 show.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged – and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore,” DeGeneres tells The Hollywood Reporter, discussing the move publicly for the first time.
DeGeneres also discusses the tumultuous year she’s had as wave after wave of bad publicity kept coming:
It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season. So, it’s not why I’m stopping but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I’m like, “Okay, this is hilarious.”
Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn’t stop. And I wasn’t working, so I had no platform, and I didn’t want to address it on [Twitter] and I thought if I just don’t address it, it’s going to go away because it was all so stupid.
• Instinct Magazine: Beauty and the Beast star Luke Evans shared the above photo with his Instagram followers proving that everyone didn’t get out of shape during the pandemic. #bastard #morewine
• Kenneth-in-the-212: If you’re a fan of classic TV sitcoms, don’t miss Kenneth’s 25 facts about the finale episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Hubby Michael and I recently binge watched all 168 episodes and, yep, we still love it.
• Pantene: The hair care giant recently shared this ad spot about a trans teen and her two moms – “Hair is a large part of our identity. And for LGBTQ+ youth like Sawyer, who choose to express themselves, their style, & their creativity through their hair style, it can help them feel seen. Catch up with Sawyer and her mom Ashley & see how this family is.” #BeautifulLGBTQ
• The Advocate: The Arkansas legislature has passed a bill allowing health care providers or insurers to deny care that conflicts with their religious beliefs. Civil rights groups say it opens the door to widespread discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and others. For instance, pharmacists could refuse to fill prescriptions for transgender patients’ hormone treatment.
• NY Times: Normally one of the ratings stalwarts of daytime TV, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has seen a huge drop in ratings over the last six months. DeGeneres has lost over a million viewers since the beginning of 2020.
• Gr8erDays: Believe it or not, William Shatner (Star Trek, TJ Hooker, Boston Legal) is 90 years old today. #LiveLongAndProsper
Emmy Award-winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres shared via Twitter today that she’s tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Hi Everyone, I want to let you all know that I have tested positive for COVID-19,” wrote Ellen. “Fortunately, I am feeling fine right now. Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified and I am following all proper CDC guidelines.”
“I’ll see you all again after the holidays,” she wrote in closing before adding, “Please stay healthy and safe.”
There’s no word on whether her wife, Portia de Rossi, or any staffers have tested positive. Production for her talk show has been paused until January according to Variety.
Unfortunately, Ellen joins the ranks of just a few high-profile LGBTQ celebrities to have contracted the virus.
• KIT212: Kenneth’s new regular feature, “Mask4Masc,” offers some ‘hunky highlights’ (above) for these otherwise grim days. More at the link.
• Gay Star News: New data shows 1 in 6 adopted children in the UK are finding homes with same-sex couples. The number of ‘rainbow families’ has increased for three years in a row now.
• YouTube: From the description – “The von Trapplings have so far only been singing about Covid. But current events compel them to add their sound of music once more, to farewell a president who just doesn’t seem to want to leave office after being democratically fired.”
• NewNowNext: The pop culture site spoke with four queer performers at different stages of their OnlyFans careers to get a better sense of the labor and investment they put into their business models. Regular readers know I find the financial possibilities of OnlyFans fascinating.
• Variety: A “True Blood” reboot is in the early development stages at HBO. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Jami O’Brien are attached to write the script and executive produce, with original series creator and showrunner Alan Ball also attached to executive produce. At this time, none of the show’s original cast is attached to return.
• The Hill: Sixty percent of voters don’t want President Trump to run for president again in 2024, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Wednesday. The survey found just 32 percent of respondents think the president should run for a second non-consecutive term.
• CNN: While Donald Trump continues to whine about his epic fail in his quest for reelection, First Lady Melania Trump is already making plans for ending her time in the White House. According to sources, she’s begun inquiring about “what was available to her in terms of budget and staff allocation for post-White House life.”
• OUT: Viewers were left with no explanation when Noah Purvis, a contestant on CBS’s straight matchmaking show Love Island, quietly disappeared from the show. It’s since been revealed that Purvis has a not-so-secret gay porn past, and according to some reports, executives at the network didn’t like it.
• The Advocate: Writer Trudy Ring breaks down why the LGBTQ community is justified in its concern about Supreme Court front-runner Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Here’s a couple of hints: she wasn’t jake about the 2015 SCOTUS marriage equality ruling and she questions the recent transgender discrimination = sex discrimination decision. #DangerWillRobinson
• Bloomberg News: Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg is reportedly role-playing as fellow Hoosier Vice President Mike Pence in debate prep sessions with Sen. Kamala Harris in advance of the upcoming October 7 veep face-off in Salt Lake City.
• Axios: A 2018 state constitutional amendment in Florida allows for felons who have completed their prison sentences to regain their right to vote — but there’s a catch: they have to pay back any outstanding fines, fees or restitution. Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has raised over $16 million to pay off obligations for 32,000 felons who were already registered to vote in Florida just before Election Day.
• NPR: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidelines on how to celebrate Halloween safely. No big surprise: Classic door-to-door trick-or-treating and indoor haunted houses (where people will be crowded and screaming, which could send infectious particles flying) are on the no-no list. Better: outdoor ‘haunted forests’ and individually wrapped gift bags at the end of a driveway or yard while still preserving social distance.
• NewNowNext: When The Ellen DeGeneres Show premiered its 18th season on Monday, Ellen (above) began the episode by addressing allegations of a toxic work environment that came to light this summer via reporting by Buzzfeed News. After rumors of demeaning treatment of staffers ran rampant, three executive producers were gone by August. Watch Ellen’s full monologue below.
At the time of the appearance, rumors were swirling that Carey was pregnant. It turns out she was BUT she hadn’t announced the news yet.
DeGeneres pointedly asked Carey about the possible pregnancy and Carey demurred. But, in an attempt to break the news, Ellen pulled out glasses of champagne and challenged Mimi to imbibe.
The pop star, clearly a bit distressed in the moment, kept trying to avoid the question. Click the center of the image below to watch.
“I was extremely uncomfortable with that moment is all I can say,” Carey tells Vulture. “And I really have had a hard time grappling with the aftermath.”
“I wasn’t ready to tell anyone because I had had a miscarriage,” says the 5-time Grammy Award winner. “I don’t want to throw anyone that’s already being thrown under any proverbial bus, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.”
Sadly, Carey did experience another miscarriage shortly after the interview aired.
Musing on the moment, Carey says there’s “an empathy that can be applied to those moments that I would have liked to have been implemented.”
A clip of the exchange is still posted on Ellen’s video channel with the caption, “Mariah Carey won’t respond to pregnancy rumors, but Ellen knows how to get an answer out of her without saying anything.”
Looking to the future, the award-winning singer/songwriter/actress is in media mode as her long-awaited memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, drops on September 29.
And the 18th season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show premieres next week.
Variety reports executive producers Ed Galvin and Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman will depart from The Ellen DeGeneres Show after the production began an internal investigation into allegations of a toxic work environment that included sexual misconduct and racial insensitivity.
During a videoconference on Monday, Ellen broke the news to more than 200 staff members reportedly becoming “emotional to the point of tears.”
I’m a multi-layered person, and I try to be the best person I can be and try to learn from my mistakes.
I care about each and every one of you. I am grateful for each and every one of you. I feel like I’ve kind of let the ball drop a bit because I’m focused on the show, I go in and I do the show, and I’ve just let everybody to do their jobs – to run different departments.
And it just became a well-oiled machine, and I think that is the problem. It’s not a machine. This is people. These are human beings that are working hard every single day to put this together. This show would not be what it is without all of you.
Executive producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt will remain at the show alongside host DeGeneres, and the show’s resident DJ, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, has been promoted to co-executive producer.
Michael Plonsker, an attorney representing Leman, issued this statement:
The fact that a deeply flawed BuzzFeed article has led to the termination of an innocent man – a popular figure and a creative force behind the Ellen show and a string of other projects produced with Ellen – is shocking. Kevin is devastated by being scapegoated and is not yet ready to comment.
“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”
DeGeneres told the staff on Monday she fully expects the fall season of the talk show to “come back strong” when the series returns this September. DeGeneres was quoted as saying it will be “the best season we’ve ever had.”
• InstaHunks: Yes, Wes Dupree (“Gymbear79”) is practicing his “social-fitnessing.” Good on him…
• The Wrap: Ratings for The Ellen DeGeneres Show sunk to a new series low last month following a bombshell Buzzfeed News report about the toxic work environment behind the scenes. Ratings for the talk show were down 9% from the prior week and a glaring -29% from the same week last summer.
• Gay Star News: The Democratic Party has unveiled its platform for November’s elections and it is the most LGBT+ inclusive ever including major pledges to reverse Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQ policies, ban ‘conversion therapy’, AND pass the Equality Act.
• Winnipeg Sun: Former WWE pro wrestler Marty Jannetty posted (then deleted) on social media that at the age of 13 he murdered a gay man he was buying weed from after an alleged sexual assault.
• NBC News: Facebook removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to conservative media outlet The Epoch Times that pushed pro-Trump conspiracy theories about coronavirus and protests in the U.S. Facebook took down the accounts as part of its enforcement against the use of fake accounts to inflate the reach of content or products on social media. The Epoch Times is owned by the virulently anti-LGBTQ Falun Gong cult, which also produces the touring acrobatics show, Shen Yun.
• Cognitive Decline: Just days after Donald Trump was mocked for mispronouncing Yosemite National Park as “Yo-semites,” the Trumpster – who accuses former Vice President Joe Biden of not being mentally on point – referred to Thailand as “ThighLand.”
BREAKING: Three days after pronouncing “Yosemite” ats “Yo-Semite,” Trump pronounces “Thailand” as “Thighland.”
• St. Louis Today: Openly gay St. Louis County police lieutenant Keith Wildhaber (above), who in February settled a workplace discrimination lawsuit against the police department for $10.25 million, said Friday that he is stepping down from command of its Diversity and Inclusion unit. In a Facebook post he wrote, “The dog whispers of a gay, white guy being unable to lead Diversity and Inclusion were loud and clear. Systemic racism is alive and well.”
• Cosmopolitan: James Corden, currently the host of The Late Late Show, might be in talks to replace Ellen DeGeneres on her daytime talk show. The possible shake-up comes shortly after toxic work environment claims were made against Ellen’s longtime show.
• Vimeo: Snowflake, a new film that depicts the fear of a nation when a dictatorial politician is suddenly thrust into the White House, will begin streaming on Vimeo on August 4. While most of the characters in the film are gay, Snowflake shows how their other identities – age, race, and their economic status – shape their individual views. Check out the trailer below.
• The Advocate: Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who’s faced criticism for anti-transgender comments over the past year, signed a letter supporting Idaho’s law barring trans females from competing in women’s and girls’ interscholastic sports. The NCAA, which has already announced its opposition to the law, is considering potentially moving the March Madness men’s basketball tournament from Boise.
• Deadline: Pose star Angelica Ross has inked a development & production deal with Pigeon, the production company behind OWN’s Iyanla: Fix My Life. The transgender actress and activist will work with Pigeon to develop and co-produce scripted and non-scripted content.
• AFP Fact Check: Donald Trump went on a voter fraud Twitter rant after the Nevada legislature approved mail-in-voting for all registered voters. But AFP’s fact-checking showed actual voter fraud is minuscule to non-existent.
In an illegal late night coup, Nevada’s clubhouse Governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state. Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation. Using Covid to steal the state. See you in Court! https://t.co/cNSPINgCY7
Following the announcement of an investigation into numerous reports of a toxic work environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen DeGeneres has reportedly emailed her staff apologizing for the alleged behind-the-scenes transgressions.
DeGeneres acknowledged a culture that did not reflect the values with which she started the 17-year-old franchise, and pledged to do better. In addition, insiders familiar with the series said executive producer Ed Glavin is set to exit his role imminently.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case,” DeGeneres wrote.
“I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros., we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues.
As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again,” she continued.
DeGeneres’ full note to staff:
Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.
It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then.