The Ellen DeGeneres Show's team might be wishing for a better 2021. According to BuzzFeed News' latest report, Ellen is losing ratings, advertisers, and celeb guests left and right after its higher-ups were accused of sexual harassment and its host of toxic behavior.
Ellen sources told BuzzFeed that, since summer 2020, the chatfest has seen a decline in its sponsors. With less advertising money comes less budget for the digital department, meaning old clips might be reused rather than new content created.
Last month, Ellen announced layoffs for its digital arm. One employee admitted:
We’re trying to be a content house, but we have no content.
That means paring down the magnitude of the show's fan-favorite "12 Days of Giveaways." One current staffer said:
This feels like our make-it-or-break-it moment. This will be our biggest report card. If we pick up sponsors by the new year, then we’re cooking, we’ll be fine, and we’ll sell kindness in a bottle. But if we fail that report card, who knows.
Another source said that the more modest nature of the contest reflects the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ellen is also reportedly struggling to book A-listers. An anonymous publicist dished:
I wouldn’t set up anyone on her show right now to do anything that could possibly cause them more negative headlines. You have to tread so carefully with your clients and your clients’ reputations, so you don't want to put your client in any line of fire sympathizing with someone that any community or anyone would feel bad about. We’re not going to align anyone with Ellen.