Ellen DeGeneres’ latest effort to rebuild her ‘Be Kind’ brand following ‘toxic workplace’ allegations has fallen a little flat with fans.
The 62-year-old is selling a ‘Be Kind’ subscription box filled with her ‘favourite, handpicked products’ such as Ellen brand earbuds, a collapsible keep cup and a gold necklace that spells the word ‘hope’.
The Autumn-themed box is reportedly worth $374 but costs $76 making it a good buy — in theory.
In reality, several customers have taken to social media to complain about the quality of some of the products — namely the ‘Be Kind & Listen’ earbuds — as well as significant postage delays.
“The headphones in my box don’t work very well - very disappointed in the quality,” wrote one dissatisfied follower on Instagram.
“My ear buds don't work & cannot get ahold of anyone!!!” added another.
“Still waiting to get mine. When are they being mailed out?” one asked, while another demanded, “When is it being shipped?”
Others had issues with the subscription box service in general, which can cost members up to $387 a year for four seasonal boxes.
“Pleaseeeeeeeee stop charging my credit card $251.96 for a subscription I have cancelled two months ago,” one follower begged.
“This subscription has been nothing but headaches! I’m not feeling the kindness you are promoting!” added another.
Many commenters, however, were thrilled with the ‘Be Kind’ box which showcases products from Black-owned businesses and creators.
“Love this idea!!” wrote one.
“Powerful message~support black businesses,” remarked another.
“My daughter bought me a subscription and I LOVED all the things in my Be Kind Box,” gushed a happy customer.
‘Be Kind’ brand is ‘gone’
In September, Ellen finally addressed the toxic work allegations that had plagued her show for months at the top of the season 18 premiere.
In her near five-minute opening monologue Ellen spoke fairly openly about the claims made by current and former staffers beginning back in March.
Brand and reputation management expert, Eric Schiffer, told Yahoo Lifestyle at the time that it was ‘crucial’ for Ellen to tackle the controversy head-on in order to ‘stop the massive carnage’ but, in his opinion, it could’ve been handled better.
“I give her credit for owning responsibility after weeks of pushing it on other people and shirking her ownership as a leader,” he said.
“But her apology was incredibly rehearsed and lacked congruent remorse,” he added.
Instead, Eric believes she should have nixed the humour and put aside her trademark ‘lightheartedness’ to show genuine, believable remorse for the numerous allegations of racism, sexual harassment and intimidation.
Others, particularly those who have worked on the Ellen De Generes Show or are still doing so, told Buzzfeed News that her apology was ‘disingenuous and tone-deaf’.
“Not only did Ellen turn my trauma, turn our traumas, into a joke, she somehow managed to make this about her,” one former employee told the publication.
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