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Ellen DeGeneres has become the latest star to reveal that she has tested positive for COVID-19.
“Hi Everyone, I wanted to let you all know that I tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, I’m feeling fine right now. Anyone who has been in close contact with me has been notified, and I am following all proper CDC guidelines,” she wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “I’ll see you again after the holidays. Please stay healthy and safe. Love, Ellen.”
A Telepictures spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that production on The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be paused until January following the news.
The news arrives the day after BuzzFeed published a follow-up story to its original, viral report over the summer alleging a “toxic” workplace at the Telepictures production. The new story, published Wednesday night, reports that the show is floundering in its attempts to book top-tier talent after the summer story on the show’s workplace culture and is losing advertisers. The story additionally reports that The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s ratings have declined 37 percent since the prior season. The show has had 1.65 million daily viewers so far this season, and is the No. 3 syndicated talk show behind Live With Kelly and Ryan and Dr. Phil.
Usually, the show’s “12 Days of Giveaways” seasonal event attracts many sponsors and aspiring audience members: “This year, our ‘12 Days’ is more condensed. We don’t have as many sponsors,” one employee who chose to remain anonymous told BuzzFeed. “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.” The story trended on Twitter on Thursday morning.
In stories over the summer, THR reported that several former employees of Ellen agreed with the toxic workplace claims and laid the responsibility on the show’s top executive producers and production company, Telepictures. In August, producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman parted ways with the show, while DJ Stephen “tWitch” Boss was elevated to co-executive producer.
During her show’s return Sept. 21, DeGeneres addressed the fracas surrounding the behind-the-scenes culture of her show: “I learned that things happened here that never should have happened,” she said. “I take that very seriously and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people that were affected.”
The Ellen DeGeneres Show brought back a small, in-person audience in October, inviting 40 audience members to join the studio in addition to 70 virtual audience members. Since that time, COVID-19 cases have spiked in Los Angeles, with 9,243 new cases reported Dec. 9. Tuesday saw a single-day death record in California as a result of the virus, with a death toll of 219.
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