Ellen DeGeneres' five-minute apology was "incredibly rehearsed" and "lacked remorse", a leading brand and reputation management expert has said.
The comedian kicked off season 18 of her talk show today by addressing the scandalous toxic workplace rumours that have plagued her for months.
"I learned that things happened here that never should have happened," Ellen said. "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 realised that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show."
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The five-minute monologue received a mixed reaction on social media, with some accusing the star of being "fake".
Speaking to news.com.au, brand and reputation management expert Eric Schiffer credited Ellen for finally addressing the scandal head-on but said her words fell short because she peppered jokes throughout the monologue.
"Her apology was incredibly rehearsed and lacked remorse," the chairman of Reputation Management Consultants said. "She made light of a situation that almost sent her career to the Warner graveyard."
Mr Schiffer continued: "Her lightheartedness should have been put aside to show that she 100 per cent owns the cesspool of near evil conduct that created a massive amount of haemorrhage to her brand. She lacked judgment with her jokes – a pattern we've been witnessing with her."
Ellen, who ends each episode of her talk show by saying "be kind to one another", has seen her brand be permanently damaged by the months-long scandal. But she can bounce back, Mr Schiffer told news.com.au.
"What she said is enough to move past the scandal for many," he said. "But now she has to prove with her actions that she is capable of change by treating people around her with respect, and it will be up to the audience to see if it's sincere. If not, her career with end in spontaneous combustion."