The coronavirus doesn’t spare anyone, not even the rich, famous, or the controversial.
Ellen Degeneres is the most recent celebrity to test positive for COVID-19. As a result, her daytime talkshow, Ellen, will take a hiatus until at least January according to a spokesperson for the show. Ellen took to Twitter to let fans know about her diagnosis, but assured followers that she’s “feeling fine right now.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@Ellen DeGeneres)1607619686.0
Her full post, posted Thursday morning, reads: “Hi Everyone, I want to let you all know that I tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, I’m feeling fine right now. Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified, and I am following all proper CDC guidelines. I’ll see you all again after the holidays. Please stay healthy and safe. Love, Ellen”
The news comes at an unfortunate time for Ellen, as her show was just beginning to climb in ratings again thanks to the show’s annual “12 Days of Giveaways” series. The week of November 29 saw the show’s highest ratings since May. The ratings fell earlier in the year in large part due to the controversy that emerged over the summer surrounding the work environment at the show, as well as accusations that Ellen herself is not as nice as she seems on TV.
Ellen has been working to overcome reports from earlier this year of a “toxic work environment.” Former and current Ellen Show employees reported unreasonable work hours, managers dismissing claims of mistreatment, termination without reason following time off, and a general sense that the production team preys on inexperienced workers.
Ellen addressed these allegations in an internal memo that read, “On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ would be a place of happiness — no one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect. Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case.”
Additionally, once the show came back on air for Season 18, Ellen addressed the controversy in her opening monologue: “As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” she said on air. “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 am in a position of privilege and power and with that comes responsibility and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
Ellen’s First Monologue of Season 18