By Hannah DiPilato
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has shut down her talk show until January after testing positive for Covid-19.
“Hi Everyone,” DeGeneres wrote. “I want to let you all know that I tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, I’m 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. Please stay healthy and safe,” wrote Ellen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s official Twitter account.
The announcement to cancel the show came from a spokesperson from Telepictures studio. “Following Ellen’s announcement this morning, we have paused production on the Ellen DeGeneres Show until January,” said the statement.
The show had returned to the air in Septmeber after a summer of employees reporting the show as a “toxic work environment.” Ellen made an apology about these allegations during the September premire.
“As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show,” DeGeneres said during the first episode back on the air. “And then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say, I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power. I realized that with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show. This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I am Ellen DeGeneres. My name is there. My name is there. My name is on underwear. We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future. We have made the necessary changes. And today we are starting a new chapter.”
DeGeneres has apologized to her staff for the environment of the show. Employees reported accounts of sexual misconduct, racism and “culture of fear.” This has resulted in many celebrities turning down the oppurtunity to be featured on the show. Although the show has featured big celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Jimmy Kimmel in the past, celebrities don’t want to be featured on a show with such negative backlash.
Ever since the show’s return to air, the once popular talk show is now struggling to stay on top. According to Buzzfeed, the show hasn’t been able to book A-List celebrities for appearances. The show has also lost advertisers as well as seeing a large dip in viewer ratings. Usually Decemeber is a busy time for The Ellen Show because of the “12 Days of Giveaways” segment that runs through the holiday season.
This year The Ellen Show planned to give the gifts to those impacted by coronavirus such as frontline workers and affected families. However, an employee has said this year’s gifts that will be given to the audience are much less extravagant than usual.
“In a typical year, ‘12 Days of Giveaways’ is huge. We’ve basically claimed Christmas on daytime TV. When you think of Christmas on TV, you think of The Ellen Show,” said the employee. “Everyone wants to be in the audience. Everyone wants the gifts. And so we line up all these crazy sponsors, and people love it. But this year, our ‘12 Days’ is more condensed. We don’t have as many sponsors.”
Although the show is postponed until January, DeGeneres has signed a contract that continues the talk show through 2022. While the show is struggling more than usual, executives have said the show isn’t going anywhere.