The Ellen DeGeneres Show has lost sponsors, viewers and celebrity guests since it was embroiled in scandal over the summer, according to reports.
People are reportedly wary of being associated with the show after it was hit with allegations of bullying and sexual harassment that were borne out by an internal investigation.
According to BuzzFeed News, the show’s employees have been asked to pitch guest ideas for the first time, as it has struggled to book stars.
They also cite Hollywood publicists claiming that some clients have specified that they don’t want to appear on it and that they themselves fear “negative headlines”.
Some Ellen Show staff dispute this, telling BuzzFeed that the show is “fully booked” in spite of the impact coronavirus restrictions have had on the chat show circuit.
In the two months since the show returned after summer, guests have included Justin Bieber, Barack Obama and Jane Fonda.
Other publicists reportedly commented that the show no longer dominates the circuit as it once did.
Degeneres’s usual ‘12 Days of Giveaways’ in the run up to Christmas has also been a little different this year.
While gifts are usually presented to audience members, they’re being given to frontline workers and families affected by coronavirus.
But a current employee told BuzzFeed News that the giveaway prizes are more modest than usual this year because they’ve failed to line up as many sponsors as usual.
Employees also allege that they’ve been forced to recycle old video clips because of a lack of advertising budget.
Again, others put this disparity down to the effects of coronavirus: usually, the biggest and most impressive giveaways are luxury holidays, but that isn’t possible this year.
Reports of a drop in ratings have also dogged the show since its return to TV in September.
Viewing figures have dropped by 37 per cent compared to the previous series. Other talk shows have been faced with ratings drops, albeit smaller.
Earlier this year, Degeneres apologised for the host of complaints and controversies embroiling her show.
But she promised she “isn’t going anywhere”, having signed a deal that guarantees The Ellen Degeneres Show will run until at least 2022.