The “Be Kind” gift box launches for US$270 following Ellen’s toxic workplace scandal

The “Be Kind” gift box launches for US$270 following Ellen’s toxic workplace scandal
Source: Reuters, Mike Blake

Ellen can’t seem to get herself out of controversy this year. Just this summer, the television personality came under major scrutiny by the public after Ellen’s toxic workplace allegations were brought up, leading to WarnerMedia launching an investigation. However, the outcome of the investigation did not help improve Ellen’s reputation in the public eye, with many “canceling” the 62-year-old comedian.

Well, the popular host of the daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” has received backlash once again for launching a “Be Kind” gift box with a premium option costing a staggering US$270 (HK$2093). A basic box, delivered four times a year runs US$55 (HK$426). The premium box option on the higher end includes “opportunities for Ellen to gift surprise-and-delight items like the ones you see on air” and is currently wait-listed.

She shared a video on her Instagram account promoting the box, which contains a painting set, earbuds, a collapsible cup and a gold “hope” necklace – but fans were not impressed with the product.

One follower commented: “Never got my summer box, can’t get anyone to respond to my emails? I don’t even have an account anymore for some reason, but I still have my invoice.”

The box has not only been slammed due to the ironic timing of the launch, but also because of the quality of the box itself. One frustrated customer commented: “The headphones in my box don’t work very well – very disappointed in the quality.” Another said: “Can someone please contact me. I have sent seven emails and heard nothing back. I was double-billed for my premium box. Please contact me.”

The opener of Season 18 of her show addressed Ellen’s toxic workplace scandal that occurred during the summer. “As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” DeGeneres said. “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 who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”

“Being known as the ‘be-kind lady’ is a tricky position to be in,” she added. “The truth is I am that person you see on TV. I am also a lot of other things. Sometimes I get sad, I get mad, I get anxious, I get frustrated, I get impatient. And I am working on all of that.”

Despite recently winning the E! People’s Choice Award for Daytime Talk Show, the show’s viewership for Season 18 has dropped by 38% according to Nielsen ratings. Nielsen Media Research, the firm that measures audience size, reported that for Ellen’s Season 18 premiere on September 21, the show averaged a 1.2 live plus same day household rating, which was a 29% drop from her 2019 premiere. This season is averaging about 1.7 million viewers, almost 38% less than 2019. The scrutiny DeGeneres is currently under does not seem to help with improving her show’s viewership anytime soon.

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