Despite a robustly negative social media campaign and a rather publicized internal investigation, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be making a comeback next month with its 18th season. The talk show’s titular host confirmed its return to an audience-free studio in a statement released on Tuesday, per The Daily Beast.
“I can’t wait to get back to work and back to our studio. And, yes, we’re gonna talk about it,” DeGeneres said.
The “it” she’s referring to here is the internal investigation that WarnerMedia launched in July after current and former employees complained of a culture of workplace abuse with allegations spanning from racist commentary to wrongful terminations. Ellen responded by denying any knowledge of the turmoil and Warner Bros. attempted to rectify the matter by firing three of the producers accused of the abusive behavior. There was also a weird moment when all of DeGeneres’ rich and powerful friends came to her defense in a not-at-all coordinated PR campaign, but it’s best not to dwell on cringeworthy memories.
Even after a rousing online campaign to expose DeGeneres of her allegedly mean behavior towards just about any non-famous person in her path, the comedian remained largely unscathed during an investigation that focused on the show’s operational executives rather than its host. Some high-profile figures like Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson (along with former partner Anne Heche, sort of?) stood in support of the employees. But now that those hard-working folks powering the Ellen machine can now brag about some cushy benefits like paid time off and clearance to attend doctors visits worry-free, it looks like things will just resume back to normal.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show will return to an audience-free studio on Monday, September 21st. Tiffany Haddish is slated as the show’s first season 18 guest.