Ellen to discuss controversy when her show premieres on Monday

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 18: Actress/TV host Ellen DeGeneres accepts Favorite Animated Movie Voice for ‘Finding Dory’ onstage during the People’s Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (NEXSTAR) — Ellen DeGeneres says she’ll be ready to talk about allegations of a toxic workplace when her daytime show returns for its 18th season on Monday.

Last month, three of the show’s producers exited amid allegations of a dysfunctional work environment that harbored misbehavior, including sexual misconduct and racially insensitive remarks.

“I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio. And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it,” DeGeneres said in a statement announcing the show’s premiere.

An internal company investigation of work conditions was prompted by a BuzzFeed News report in July based on 36 interviews with ex-staffers, who complained about or said they witnessed improper and unfair treatment. The people making the claims were not identified.

When DeGeneres told staffers of the changes in a video conference call, she reportedly described claims about the show’s environment to be “heartbreaking.”

The comedian and host sent a memo to her staff after the BuzzFeed report, recalling her early promise of ensuring a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect.” Something changed, she said, “and for that, I am sorry.”

Tiffany Haddish will join DeGeneres for the kick-off episode, with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will be taped at Warner Bros. without an in-studio audience due to the pandemic.

The first month’s list of high-profile guests reads like a rebuttal to questions about how DeGeneres and her show are perceived in the industry amid the controversy that cut against the host’s kindly image. Kerry Washington, Alec Baldwin and Chrissy Teigen are set for the first week, with Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Adam Sandler and Orlando Bloom appearing later in September, the show said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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