The viewership for The Ellen DeGeneres Show has taken a tumble following recent allegations of a “toxic” workplace culture behind the scenes.
The chat show returned for its 18th season last month, which began with the host addressing recent accusations from former staffers of racism, sexism and intimidation on set.
However, it seems the scandal has affected the viewership for the show, with the premiere week taking a 29% drop from last season’s equivalent week.
According to Nielsen (via Variety), the week averaged 1.2 Live+Same Day household ratings, and in terms of total viewership, there were 1.7 million average viewers per episode, down around 37% from the same week in last year.
While the Ellen viewership decline was steeper than most, however, syndicated talk shows were down across the board, with an average decline of 19% year-over-year in household ratings.
During her opening episode, DeGeneres spoke about the workplace culture allegations on her show, telling the audience: “As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show.
“Then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously.
“I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I am in a position of privilege and power, and I realise that with that, comes responsibility – and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”