Should The Ellen DeGeneres Show be canceled?


Fact Box

  • Ellen DeGeneres found success as an actress with her own prime-time sitcom television series, Ellen. It was originally titled These Friends of Mine, but renamed in 1994.
  • In the spring of 2020, DeGeneres and several senior staff members were accused of a “toxic” work environment, calling Ellen out as “notoriously one of the meanest people alive.” After her apology letter, BuzzFeed published accusations from 36 former employees stating incidents of 'harassment, sexual misconduct, and assault from top producers.”
  • Three of the top senior producers were fired following the allegations: Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman.
  • The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned for its 18th season on Monday, September 21. The premier received an overnight Nielsen household rating of 1.9, but it ranked No. 1 in a lucrative ad demo, an increase from the previous year.

Noah (No)

Society should say 'No' to canceling The Ellen DeGeneres Show—and 'Yes' to redemption. 'Cancel culture' may offer a quickie feeling of 'justice,' but in the end, it destroys lives and valuable careers. Ellen has donated to many charities and foundations and hosted people on her show that deserve recognition. The Ellen Fund, founded in 2018, encourages conservation goals for endangered species worldwide. Since then, the fund has safely secured the future of wild mountain gorillas through the building of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Ellen has provided many individuals and families money, clothing, and needed household items so they can rebuild after a catastrophe. After the 2018 Southern California fire that burned over 281,000 (still the most massive fire in Californian history), DeGeneres donated 'more than $14,500 in gift cards and appliances” to those affected in the Redlands Fire. That’s one example of many (reaching the millions) that DeGeneres has donated to those in need, struck by disaster, or to good causes. Though Ellen’s show can no longer be what it was, it can now include the ongoing discussion of serious issues that affect millions in the workplace.

Ellen can use her platform to highlight how executives, especially TV personalities, can become negatively changed by pressures of power, lifestyles, and narcissism. Ellen can feature celebrities and employers who have overcome personal and psychological issues and undergone dramatic change by treatment, therapy, and inner work. Ellen may have some deep-seated issues to work on, but she can use this new awareness to transform herself and her show. To see her exemplify this learning experience on TV for others would be fascinating and might incentivize others in similar positions of power to limit similar behavior.


Tyler (Yes)

It appears The Ellen DeGeneres Show has run its course. The Emmy-award winning show was caught in a whirlwind of controversy, a national health crisis, and has been plagued by a declining number of viewers. Before acknowledging some of the alarming workplace complaints made by contributors to the show, it is crucial to recognize the show's viewership is completely tanking, having dropped by 9% on a weekly basis, compared to the overall 29% drop last year. The live plus same day TV ratings usually slotted the Ellen Show around its 2.0 grade; now, the show's score typically borders around the 1.0 mark.

In the past few months, the show has had at least 36 crew members come out to allege that Ellen led a toxic work environment behind the show's scenes. Former crew members reported sexual misconduct, racism, even calling Ellen 'one of the meanest people alive.' The most daunting allegations were directed towards the show's head writer, Kevin Leman, repeatedly accused of sexual harassment towards his male and female employees. 

These accusations leave an emphatic blemish on the otherwise 'squeaky-clean' persona that Ellen has upheld for 40+ years she’s been in show business. While Ellen has worked hard to carve a positive image of herself over the years, fans will not be able to put this dilemma past her. This will push away prospective employees who are wary of taking the opportunity after discovering how past crew members have been treated. If the show were to continue, it would indirectly send the message that society condones harsh work environments and mean overseers, including and especially Ellen as well as accompanying producers. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has clearly reached the end of the road.

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