Ellen DeGeneres is under fire once again, but this time, it might not be for what you might think.
After her show was embroiled in toxic workplace allegations, the comedian still launched a new season of her ‘BE KIND’ subscription gift box.
The boxes – filled with ‘Ellen’s favourite products’ for ‘spreading kindness’ – are supposedly worth $270 (and are sold at a discount of $55). The subscription box includes a painting set, earbuds, collapsible cup, a gold ‘hope’ necklace.
Ellen, whose has built her image around kindness and understanding, revealed the new product on her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Kris Jenner, a friend of DeGeneres', received a ‘BE KIND’ box and posted on her instagram story about how happy she was with it. Some fans, however, were not only completely underwhelmed with the contents but also struggled with the 'terrible' and 'irritating' lack of customer service.
“The headphones in my box don’t work very well – very disappointed in the quality,” one Instagram user wrote.
Another wrote: “I am still waiting for my box… it’s been months.”
“Why is the customer service for this SO HARD TO GET AHOLD OF!! We can only contact by email?! But they don't respond?! So irritated with these boxes and and this service,” another said.
Not much seems to be going Ellen’s way at the moment, as the workplace scandal over the past few months seems to have taken a serious toll on her show’s ratings. According to Nielsen, The Ellen DeGeneres Show saw a 38 per cent drop in viewers in from last season to her season 18 premier on 21 September.
The bullying allegations on the show culminated this past July, when BuzzFeed published a story interviewing former employees who alleged a toxic environment of “racism, fear, and intimidation.”
In the most recent season premiere, Ellen addressed the issue.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation. I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” Ellen told viewers.
“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 realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.”
indy100 reached out to Ellen DeGeneres's team but they declined to provide a comment for publication.
This article was amended on 13 November 2020 to reflect that the drop in ratings related to the season premier only.