(LOS ANGELES) — Ahead of The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s upcoming season and amid an internal investigation into alleged misconduct and racial prejudice on set, the show’s producers on Monday addressed staff accounts of the claims uncovered in a Buzzfeed report last month, according to Variety.

As more and more allegations surface, questions are mounting as to how much of an effect they’ll have on the lucrative talk show.

“What makes it difficult, with the kind of crisis this is…it’s not an acute problem,” Andrew Moesel, senior VP of issues and crisis management for Ketchum, the show’s producers, tells the industry trade.  “It’s more a challenge to her entire brand ethos, which is as a friendly, relatable person next door, which is really the way that viewers perceive her and her value as an entertainer.”

Following the claims, Degeneres issued an email to her staff, obtained by ABC News, in which she wrote, “As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done.”

“Clearly some didn’t.  That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

Entertainment publicist Danny Deraney thinks it’ll take a lot more repair the damage.

“[Ellen] has an image problem that clearly is going to need some work to salvage any kind of momentum that she has earned over this time or any kind of positive reputation that she has,” he tells Variety, adding, “it starts by offering a better apology and taking ownership of what she’s done, and really being better.”

The new season of Ellen is set to premiere on September 9, while the DeGeneres-hosted, Game of Games on NBC, is headed back into production the week of August 24.

By George Costantino
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