Ellen DeGeneres announced this week that she tested positive for COVID-19 and paused production of her daytime talk show as a result through early 2021.
In a note posted early Thursday to her social media platforms, DeGeneres said she was “feeling fine” after her diagnosis. She also promised to return “after the holidays” but did not specify a date.
“Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified, and I am following all proper [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines,” she wrote.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” kicked off its 18th season in September, returning to the studio after much of the previous season shot from DeGeneres’ home as most of Hollywood shuttered production to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In October, the show began inviting audience members to attend tapings in studio, albeit at a reduced capacity, for the first time since March. Most of the show’s celebrity guests, however, continued to appear virtually.
The creative team behind “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” including DeGeneres herself, made visible efforts to rebrand since returning to the airwaves. The show suffered a major backlash over the summer over allegations by current and former staff members who said they experienced a “toxic” work environment that included acts of racism and sexual misconduct.
BuzzFeed in July published a lengthy probe into the allegations, most of which were directed at executive producers and senior managers. Still, DeGeneres said she took the claims “very seriously” in her opening monologue on the Sept. 21 season premiere broadcast and vowed to start a “new chapter.”
“I still want to be the one hour a day that people can go to escape and laugh,” she said. “I want to continue to help all the people that we help every day, and I am committed to making this the best season that we’ve ever had.”
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