Just weeks after vowing to kick off a “new chapter” for her daytime talk show, Ellen DeGeneres has gotten a style makeover.
Last week, the Emmy winner revealed that she’d swapped her trademark pixie haircut for a slicked-back pompadour.
Though she’s posted several Instagram photos showcasing the new look over the past several days, it began making headlines this week, notably after Monday’s and Tuesday’s airings of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
While DeGeneres hasn’t commented publicly on her new ’do, some fans have suggested it was partly inspired by her wife, Portia de Rossi, who has recently been rocking a similar cut.
Media outlets, however, have widely interpreted it as signaling a fresh start for the host after a tumultuous summer.
Last month, the host kicked off Season 18 of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” by issuing her first public comments on the bombshell claims of workplace toxicity made by staff members earlier this year.
The controversy began in July, when BuzzFeed published two lengthy articles in which current and former “Ellen” employees alleged they’d been subjected to behind-the-scenes intimidation, racism and sexual misconduct.
In a six-minute Sept. 21 monologue, DeGeneres acknowledged that she was “in a position of privilege and power” and took responsibility, even though most of the claims were directed at executive producers and senior managers.
Watch a clip from Wednesday’s “Ellen DeGeneres Show” with guest Ken Jeong below.
“As you may have heard, this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment on our show, and then there was an investigation,” she said at the time. “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously, and I want to say that I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”
Acknowledging the circumstances in which “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was returning to the airwaves, she said she hoped it could “still be a place of happiness and joy” for viewers grappling with both divisive politics and the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeGeneres’ on-air mea culpa drew a mixed response from critics, and whether those words will resonate among her loyal viewers still remains to be seen. Earlier this month, Variety reported that her Season 18 debut week viewership was down 37% from that of the previous year.
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