On Friday, we reported that former staffers on Ellen DeGeneres’ eponymous daytime talk show had come forward to claim that she had created a hostile work environment on her set that was rampant with racism. Now, an expert is speaking out to talk about the impact this scandal will have on DeGeneres’ brand, and it’s not looking good for her.
“Authenticity is king with celebrity brands and these continued leaks are lacerating her credibility and mangling her capacity to continue to try to be positioned at a high moral ground,” Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants, told Fox News. “It’s celebrity brand suicide.”
This came after over ten former staffers on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” told BuzzFeed News that despite the daytime talk show’s mantra to always “be kind,” DeGeneres is anything but kind behind the scenes. Afterwards, the show’s producers released a statement claiming that the hostile work environment was their fault.
“For the record, the day to day responsibility of the Ellen show is completely on us,” they said. “We take all of this very seriously and we realize, as many in the world are learning, that we need to do better, are committed to do better, and we will do better.”
Schiffer, however, said that this statement may hurt DeGeneres more, as it’s yet another example of her not taking responsibility for her own actions.
“Ellen is unwilling herself to accept full responsibility and is trying to get her senior producers to take the full hit which further shows a lack of character,” Schiffer said. “A leader steps up and learns from it, and now we’re learning that Ellen — who is considered to be squeaky clean in her persona — may be leading an organization that has stone-cold crazy racism going on within it. It’s horrifying to think about.”
He added that it’s nearly impossible that DeGeneres may not have known what was happening on her own set.
“The chance of Ellen not knowing that this is going on is the same possibility that there are people still in America that don’t know Donald Trump’s name,” he said.
As for the future of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Schiffer said that it’s not looking good for the program.
“I think the future of the show is in serious danger because senior executives that must continue to bring in advertising dollars are not going to push product that will cause their clients to run,” Schiffer said. “Given the continued smoke coming out of the camp and my own insights into the hyper-careful nature of executives, I think that the probabilities of the ‘Ellen’ show becoming a mushroom cloud is higher than ever.”
In the end, Schiffer said that DeGeneres’ fatal mistake may have been forcing her producers to take the blame.
“To disrespect her senior leaders and put it on them is even worse,” Schiffer concluded. “It’s this continued pattern of narcissism and a lack of empathy for her junior staff, a lack of empathy for her producers. She should step up and own it but she’s too big of a celebrity in her mind.”