Ellen DeGeneres kicked off season 18 of her show on Monday with an opening monologue directly addressing the workplace abuse allegations the show recently faced.
Speaking to a virtual audience for the season premiere of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the television host, 62, apologized to those who were affected by mistreatment on the show and said she is "starting a new chapter."
"I learned that things happened here that never should have happened," she continued. "I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected. 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."
She stated that she has had many conversations in recent weeks about what she and producers want "for the future" of the show. "We have made the necessary changes, and today, we are starting a new chapter," she said.
Following the internal investigation on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," three senior producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, departed the show, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. confirmed to "Good Morning America" in August.
The abuse and toxic work culture allegations came to light in a Buzzfeed report in July. Several high-ranking producers on the show were named in the complaints, but DeGeneres was not named.
However, many negative personal experiences with the talk show host surfaced on social media following the report. These have not been confirmed. DeGeneres addressed these stories in her opening monologue as well.
"There were also articles in the press and on social media that said that I am not who I appear to be on TV because I became known as the 'Be Kind Lady,'" she said. "And here's how that happened. I started saying 'be kind to one another' after a young man named Tyler Clementi took his own life after being bullied for being gay. I thought the world needed more kindness. And it was a reminder that we all needed that. And I think we need it more than ever right now."
"Being known as the 'Be Kind Lady' is a tricky position to be in," she added. "So let me give you some advice out there. If anybody's thinking of changing their title or giving yourself a nickname, do not go with the 'Be Kind Lady.'"
She went on to further defend her character, while also admitting that she is working on bettering herself.
"The truth is I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things," she said. "I sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress and I'm especially working on the impatience thing because -- and it's not going well because it's not happening fast enough."
"I am a talk show host and you know that. But maybe some of you know I was an actress," she added. "I've played a straight woman in movies, so I'm a pretty good actress. But I don't think that I'm that good that I could come out here every day for 17 years and fool you. This is me, and my intention is to always be the best person I can be."
She stated that as a boss to 270 people on the show, she hopes "for every single one of them to be happy and to be proud to work here."
"If I've ever let someone down, if I've ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that," she continued. "If that's ever the case, I have let myself down and I've hurt myself as well, because I always try to grow as a person. I look at everything that comes into my life as an opportunity to learn. I got into this business to make people laugh and feel good."
The host said that she hopes her one-hour show can be a place "people can go to escape and laugh" amid the tragic events going on in the world, naming the COVID-19 pandemic, the California wildfires and more.
"I want to continue to help all the people that we help every day," she said. "And I'm committed to making this the best season that we have ever had."