Your silence is not good for your business and would not be good for your business.
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By now you are probably familiar with the controversy surrounding Ellen DeGeneres.
If you don't, you will find a short summary here. According to reports, at least one current and up to ten former employees of their popular talk show say they are victims of "bullying and racism". During the pandemic, the show's production company was accused of underpaid certain employees. Rumors had previously circulated that the comedian was "notoriously one of the meanest people alive".
True? Is not it? Unfair? It does not matter. It's 2020!
The pointer has reached such a level that the show's parent company, WarnerMedia, has initiated an internal investigation into the matter. In the meantime, many executives associated with the show deny any wrongdoing. "In almost two decades, 3,000 episodes and with over 1,000 employees, we have endeavored to create an open, safe and inclusive work environment," said the executive producers of the show in a joint statement. "We are really heartbroken and we are sorry to hear that even someone in our production family has had a negative experience. It is not who we are and who we want to be and not the mission that Ellen sets for us Has."
Related: Is 2020 the worst year ever?
At the moment it is not about the alleged abuse of employees. The problem is all about Ellen DeGeneres. Sure, she may just be the show host, but she is the show. Her name is on the title. It is involved in the production. She is the business owner and the face of the brand. So where is she? Why didn't she say anything publicly about it? She should? Would you?
She should. Watch out, business owner.
Ellen has to apologize publicly. She should say how serious the matter is and that she is fully behind the investigation. It should also state that action is taken when misconduct is identified. She should also publicly state that she was not aware of any wrongdoing (assuming this is the case), but takes full responsibility as the owner of the show. She should do this in a video message, not in writing, because videos can convey her feelings better. There will be a tidal wave in the media that she has to endure. And then the wave will go away.
Nowadays, when people and brands are brought to justice in public opinion courts and sentenced before they reach public law courts, there is only one proven strategy for companies – big and small – to get a PR- Solve a problem . It's an excuse.
Airlines do it. Hospitals do it. Car manufacturers do it. Retailers do it. Even Kanye did it. It doesn't matter what the circumstances were. In 2020, people don't really care about the facts. We have learned that facts can be manipulated to correspond to almost any point of view. The public simply wants to perceive their business leaders and role models as human, and there is nothing more human than screwing it up and then apologizing for it. We let the insurance companies deal with the financial implications.
Related: Why was Milton Berle banned by "SNL"?
So Ellen: I'm sorry. They survived this ridiculous and unfair coming-out controversy in the late 1990s. You will survive this one too. And your business too.