Report: Ellen DeGeneres Losing Guests, Sponsors, and Facing Ratings Crash After Harassment and Toxic Workplace Allegations

Producer Ellen DeGeneres attends Netflix's season 1 premiere of "Green Eggs and
VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

According to reports, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is suffering a loss of on-air guests, advertising dollars, and is facing a ratings crash months after accusations that DeGeneres fostered a toxic workplace where harassment was rampant.

In the wake of the accusations, the eponymous daytime talk show is finding it more difficult to book A-List and high-profile guests, according to the report by Buzzfeed. But that isn’t all. Advertisers and sponsors have been abandoning the show in droves.

Buzzfeed added that the amount of online content that had been de rigueur has been flagging recently because of producers’ inability to create new clips due to the falling revenue. “We’re trying to be a content house, but we have no content,” one employee told the site.

“In November 2019, the Ellen Show Instagram account featured 12 sponsored posts from eight different brands; in November 2020, the show’s Instagram featured just six sponsored posts from two different brands: Hologic, a medical device company focusing on women’s health, and Hyundai, which also sponsored this year’s ’12 Days of Giveaways,'” Buzzfeed added.

In another sign of decline, for years the NBC show has given high-end gifts to the in-house audiences, especially during the Christmas time shows. But the employee told Buzzfeed that this year the gifts are of far lesser quality and fewer in quantity because of the lack of sponsors.

“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,” the employee added. “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.”

With ratings falling, the booking agents are also avoiding Ellen. “The feedback we’ve been getting is that Ellen is no longer a first choice for talent,” a publicist told Buzzfeed.

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Ellen DeGeneres lapsed into damage control this year after nearly a year of negative reports about the toxic workplace many say she fostered on her show. She kicked off her new season with a wide-ranging apology and promised a “new chapter” in her daytime show.

“As you may have heard this summer, there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show, and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should’ve happened,” DeGeneres said in September. “I take that very seriously, and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”

But according to the show’s ratings — that “new chapter” has yet to be accepted by viewers.

The ratings tell the story. According to the Nielsen tracking firm, ratings have declined about 37 percent from last season. The 2020 season’s debut, for instance, earned 1.7 million viewers compared to the 2.7 million for last year’s.

There was also a shuffling of producers and others behind the scenes. In one case, executive producer Ed Glavin, departed the show. Although Glavin hadnot been accused of sexual misconduct, it was alleged that he was involved in multiple cases of intimidation and racism, as well as overseeing the toxic work environment.

The confluence of events is leading to the possible downfall of the once-powerful daytime show.

“All of these shows are perpetuated by money. When the money dries up, the show dries up,” a publicist Buzzfeed. “It doesn’t matter how great you are. If you can’t get advertisers to buy in, that’s the final line.”

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