Ellen DeGeneres said she “takes responsibility for what happens at my show” as she addressed the reports of a toxic work environment on her US talk show live on air.
The presenter discussed the claims with viewers as The Ellen DeGeneres Show returned for a new series on Monday, vowing to “start a new chapter”.
She has previously apologised to staff after an internal review found “deficiencies related to the show’s day-to-day management”.
Addressing a virtual audience in the studio and those watching at home, Ellen said in her opening monologue: “If you’re watching because you love me, thank you. If you’re watching because you don’t love me, welcome.”
After joking she had had a “great, super terrific” summer, Ellen continued: “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people that were affected.
“I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realise that with that comes responsibility. I take responsibility for what happens at my show.
“We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future, we have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.”
Of the claims she is not who she appears to be on TV, Ellen went on: “I am that person that you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things...
“Being known as the ‘be kind lady’ is a tricky position to be in,” she said, describing herself as a “work in progress”.
Claims of an alleged toxic work culture on the daytime talk show were made in a Buzzfeed News investigation earlier this year.
The outlet spoke to former employees who made allegations of racism, unfair dismissal, intimidation and an overall toxic environment, perpetuated by the show’s senior producers.
Ellen added: “My intention is always to be the best person I can be and if I’ve ever let someone down, if I’ve ever hurt their feelings, I am so sorry for that.
“If that is ever the case I have let myself down and I’ve hurt myself as well because I always try to grow as a person.”
Three of the show’s producers, Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman, “parted ways” with the show last month, according to CNN.
Ellen also apologised to staff in an email, saying: “As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t.
“That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”