Surprise pick ‘in line’ to replace Ellen
Speculation is swirling that a frontrunner has already emerged to replace Ellen DeGeneres - despite the star not yet having confirmed she is departing her longtime TV hosting role.
The Sun reports that Late Late Show host James Corden is "in line" to replace DeGeneres, and "could be the shock winner after dozens of employees accused the $50 million-a-year presenter of turning a blind eye to racism, bullying and sexual harassment on her hit daytime show".
The outlet cited insiders who claim British presenter Corden, 41, has long been seen as DeGeneres' "long-term successor" - even before the recent scandals.
It follows reports over the weekend that the 62-year-old is ready to call it quits on her show amid mounting pressure and a storm of negative publicity around toxic workplace allegations.
According to the Daily Mail, the host has told executives at TelePictures and Warner Bros that she's had enough and wants to walk away.
"She feels she can't go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show," a source told the publication.
"The truth is she knew what was going on, it's her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun - but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame."
Staff at DeGeneres's show have also hit back at the apology letter she sent out last week, branding her a "phony" and claiming anyone who complained to her about the ongoing issues "would've been fired".
"Don't think for a minute anything she has said in that apology means anything. She created and then enabled this toxic culture to go on for so long," one staffer said.
"If anyone had come to her or those three (executive producers) to complain, they would've been fired."
"Inside Telepictures we've had enough of her. She is a phony who does not practice what she preaches," another source told Daily Mail.
"The behaviour of her show executives has been appalling, but (Ellen) is no better. In fact, she is the worst. It's outrageous that she is trying to pretend that this is all a shock to her. The fish rots from the head, and Ellen is the head."
The insider went on to claim that DeGeneres "hates coming to work", "struggles to be nice to people" and has "utter contempt for her audience".
"She has been phoning it in for so long, and only staying for the money and celebrity it affords her," the source said.
"We've dealt with her BS for so many years, she's not innocent at all, she's not nice and the show is not filled with happiness."
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Amid doubt over DeGeneres's TV future, actor Brad Garrett - who appeared on The Ellen Show six times between 2004 and 2007 - joined the chorus of criticism aimed at the host.
The Everybody Loves Raymond star retweeted an article about DeGeneres's "emotional apology to staff" - in which she appeared to lay the blame at the feet of those working below her - tagging the daytime TV host and rubbishing her claims.
"Sorry but it comes from the top @TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were (sic) treated horribly by her. Common knowledge," Garrett wrote above the link.
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Back to the Future star Lea Thompson confirmed Garrett's statement, retweeting an article about it afterwards and adding: "True story. It is."
True story. It is.— Lea Thompson (@LeaKThompson) July 31, 2020
In her apology memo, as published by THR on Friday, DeGeneres apologises for what's gone on, insisting that steps will be taken to "correct the issues" going forward.
But the letter was quickly slammed by many on social media, who accused Ellen of passing the buck and throwing her own staff under the bus.
And hours after the letter was published, dozens of former Ellen staffers spoke out in a shocking new Buzzfeed report, alleging sexual misconduct from several top producers on The Ellen Show.
DeGeneres opens the letter with an apology, saying that what has happened was "the opposite" of what she intended for the show.
"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," she writes.
Elsewhere in the letter, DeGeneres says she's "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".
The Ellen DeGeneres Show is reportedly under an internal company investigation after numerous accusations by former staffers that it is a "toxic" work environment.
Executives reportedly sent a memo to staff last week saying they have engaged an employee relations group and a third party firm, "who will interview current and former staffers about their experiences on set," said Variety.
Last month, a bombshell Buzzfeed report collated stories from 10 former and one current Ellen employee - all speaking anonymously - described a "toxic work environment" with a culture of "racism, fear and intimidation".
Originally published as Surprise pick 'in line' to replace Ellen