No TV host is safe in the year 2021. Just ask Chris Harrison and Ellen DeGeneres.
The respective hosts of “The Bachelor” and “Ellen” both stepped away from their television roles after scandals involving defending racist actions (Harrison) and a toxic workplace (DeGeneres), cast the beloved personalities in a new light. And TV networks’ shunning of talent could become more commonplace as viewers become less forgiving of crimes, misconduct and medical misinformation and as brands affiliated with the shows look to protect their reputations.
A June 30-July 6 Morning Consult survey asked 2,193 U.S. adults if they support or oppose removing hosts from their roles for a variety of reasons, including allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse, defending racist behavior and allegations about a toxic workplace. For most of the offenses, the majority of respondents supported firing the hosts.
While being arrested for a felony and facing allegations of sexual misconduct were seen as the most egregious offenses, more than half of adults supported removing hosts who defended racist behavior (59 percent) or those who face accusations of fostering a toxic workplace (55 percent), according to the survey, which has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
After allegations that DeGeneres’ producers committed microaggressions and fired employees for taking medical or bereavement leave surfaced last summer, DeGeneres, who said she learned of the accusations in the press, said in May she would end “Ellen” in 2022 after its 19th season. (Explaining her decision to The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres said she “needed something new to challenge me.”)
And last month, ABC announced longtime “Bachelor” host Harrison would step down after he publicly defended a contestant’s attendance at an antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018.
According to data from Critical Mention shared by Stacy Jones, CEO of Hollywood Branded, an entertainment marketing agency, the allegations surrounding DeGeneres and her show earned more than 23,000 media mentions and 154 billion media impressions, along with a negative publicity value of more than $3 billion.