At the end of July, when Ellen DeGeneres finally stepped out of the shadows to acknowledge the allegations that the set of her Ellen show was infamously and shockingly toxic, she suggested that the real root of the problem was that she had handed over too much of the day-to-day control to people who she really should not have trusted—specifically producer Ed Glavin, who was more or less thrown under the bus to prove that DeGeneres was serious about making changes and handling things better going forward. Then more allegations came out, some famous people said “yeah, duh” to the allegations about the Ellen show, and then some other famous people were like “what, I had no idea!” as if that’s going to sway anybody. (Diane Keaton still stands by Woody Allen, she’s not going to turn on Ellen DeGeneres just because it’s fashionable.)
Today, in what was apparently an “emotional and apologetic” conference call with her show’s staff, DeGeneres made a pretty clever play: According to Variety, two more producers who were named in the most recent allegations—Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman—have been fired, along with Ed Glavin, with DeGeneres saying during the meeting that the allegations are “heartbreaking” and that she inadvertently enabled leaders who were “not as sensitive to human beings as they should have been” (as Variety describes it). The clever bit is that the show has filled one of its new executive producer openings with resident DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss, which will apparently give him “more influence in both programming and the working culture.”
So DeGeneres has fired three behind-the-scenes people who have either been accused of misconduct or of ignoring misconduct, and she replaced them with a guy who has a public persona and is already a known entity to her audience. That means she/Ellen the show is essentially able to pin everything on three people whose names might not even be recognizable to viewers and simultaneously draw attention away from them by highlighting a guy that viewers already like. Whether anything really changes or not (and it might not, considering that some of the allegations suggested that DeGeneres herself was the root of the issues), all that matters is that it now seems like things have changed. That may not be better than an actual improvement, but it’s certainly… easier.