Ellen DeGeneres ‘needs to take a long break from the spotlight’ to save her reputation, expert says

Comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Ellen DeGeneres has been told she “needs to take a long break from the spotlight” to save her reputation by a brand expert.

DeGeneres has been accused of being “one of the meanest people alive”, while former and current staff have alleged that the set of her long-running show is plagued by racism, bullying and sexual misconduct.

The once-loved talkshow host has been accused of “turning a blind eye” while staff were allegedly mistreated.

Brand expert Eric Schiffer has said DeGeneres must do two things immediately if she wants to salvage her already tarnished reputation: issue a second apology, and take some time away from the spotlight.

Schiffer, who is chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told news.com.au that DeGeneres’ first apology to staff was “wretchedly weak” and “lacked total truth and responsibility”.

That first apology ended up pointing the finger at staff, he said.

“It came off as one more celebrity elite escaping accountability, not to mention, it was far overdue,” Schiffer said.

Brand expert urges Ellen DeGeneres to take time away from her show to recover her reputation.

He continued: “Ellen’s best strategy is a very long vacation and a heartfelt apology that doesn’t point fingers or try to wheel out her celebrity cronies to cover up, but takes responsibility.”

However, Schiffer doesn’t believe DeGeneres will take time away from her show – he said her “mammoth ego is too gigantic for her to quit”.

“She is betting on Hollywood greed from her cash cow counting friends at Warner Bros who will test the waters and hope advertisers don’t face well-organised boycotts that nuke her into a Warner memory.”

Ellen may go down in history as one of the single biggest frauds in modern celebrity history.

Schiffer said viewers will struggle to believe that DeGeneres’ “nice” persona is authentic when The Ellen DeGeneres Show returns to the air.

“Viewers like truth and authenticity. They now know it’s a con job,” he said.

“For those who still tune in, every nicety will be scrutinised with an electron microscope, every smile will be digitally measured.”

The brand expert said Degeneres’ reputation will never fully recover from this period of controversy.

“Ellen may go down in history as one of the single biggest frauds in modern celebrity history.”

Former and current staff have alleged that the show is plagued by bullying, racism and sexual misconduct.

DeGeneres has seen her reputation torn to shreds in recent weeks and months as former staff members and past guests have spoken out about their experiences working with the star.

Earlier this year, a viral Twitter thread encouraged people to share their stories about DeGeneres being “one of the meanest people alive”. 

The controversy intensified last month when BuzzFeed published a report that painted a damning picture of alleged racism and intimidation on the show.

DeGeneres, 62, is said to have fired people for attending family funerals or taking medical leave, while producers joked that they’d mix up two Black employees because they had the same hairstyle.

One Black woman alleged that one of the show’s main writers said they only know the names of white employees, and people just “awkwardly laughed it off” rather than confronting it.

Others claimed that direct managers instructed lower-ranking employees not to speak to Ellen if they saw her around the office.

Overall, the former staff blamed senior managers and producers for the toxicity, but stressed that as it’s DeGeneres’ name on the brand “she really needs to take more responsibility”.

Since the allegations emerged, Warner Media has launched an investigation into the show, and rumours have abounded that DeGeneres herself will be replaced.

However, her wife Portia de Rossi insisted earlier this week that DeGeneres has no immediate plans to call it quits.