Cancel culture may soon be coming for Ellen DeGeneres.
We mean this literally, not in the misguided way some people use that phrase when a person simply suffers consequences for his or her actions.
No, we mean that Ellen DeGeneres may soon see her talk show taken off the air because very few people are watching it these days.
According to research firm Nielsen, The Ellen DeGeneres show has been losing viewers since its season premiere in September — a premiere that aired amid chaos and scandal.
Just about a year ago, allegations first surfaced of a toxic work environment behind the scenes of this long-running program.
There were accusations of sexism… and racism… and bullying… and microaggressions… and sexual harassment.
These led to the ousting of three executive producers, along with extreme backlash aimed at the woman who had previously been deemed the Queen of Nice.
No one views DeGeneres in such a manner any longer, however.
Heck, not that many people view her at all, at least not compared to the number of people who once did so.
The global measurement and data analytics company cited above says the talk show has gone from 2.6 million in the same period last year, to averaging 1.5 million viewers over the last six months.
This major decline came after the September premiere achieved the show’s highest season premiere ratings in four years.
As it turns out, though, those folks were just tuning in to see what Ellen would say about her tarnished reputation, not to mention the horrible claims that had been made about the culture on set.
“As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” Ellen said on air on September 21.
“I learned that things happened that never should have happened.
“I take that very seriously.”
On this same episode, Ellen vowed to begin a new chapter, explaining that she’s far from perfect.
And far from the overly nice person she’s been portrayed to be over the years by fans and the media.
“Sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that,” she said.
“I am a work in progress and I am especially working on that impatience thing.”
“I want to say I am so sorry to the people who are affected,” Ellen continued in her premiere monologue.
“I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and I realize that with that comes responsibility. And I take responsibility for what happens at my show.
“This is The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
This all sounded well and good, but ratings almost immediately declined for DeGeneres.
During the talk show’s absence from screen amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, numerous ex-employees accused Ellen of tolerating everything from bullying and racism to sexual harassment.
They said these instances were perpetuated by producers, but that DeGeneres did nothing to put a stop to such heinous behavior.
Ellen eventually apologized to her staff via e-mail, saying:
“I care about each and every one of you. I am grateful for each and every one of you.”
She added at the time:
“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. It’s become the show that it is because of all of you. So if we have forgotten you somehow – any of us — I’m sorry.”