Ellen DeGeneres Addresses Controversy in Season 18 Premiere

People – After teasing that she would “talk about it,” Ellen DeGeneres is kicking off the season 18 premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show by directly addressing the allegations about numerous complaints of workplace toxicity.

“She didn’t hold anything back,” a source tells PEOPLE about DeGeneres’ opening monologue. “It was poignant and funny and very much a candid take on what happened over the summer. She understands her audience wants to hear from her and is looking forward to talking directly to them on Monday.”

Leading up to the premiere, the source says DeGeneres was “connecting with the staff over Zoom” and “knows that it’s on her to make sure everyone feels like they’re being heard and valued.”

Then, on the day the season 18 premiere was filmed, DeGeneres was supported by her wife Portia de Rossi and the crew applauded when the host walked off the set, according to the source, who says: “It was an emotional moment for everyone; she thanked everyone.”