Body language expert gives lowdown on Ellen DeGeneres' opening monologue

Ellen DeGeneres’ ‘awkward’ body language in her opening monologue of The Ellen Show makes for ‘uncomfortable’ viewing, according to an expert.

The talk show host addressed allegations of misconduct behind-the-scenes of the series as the programme returned for a brand new season.

The four-minute statement was uploaded to the show’s official YouTube channel ahead of the episode airing and saw Ellen say sorry to the people who were affected. body language expert Judi James analysed Ellen’s behaviour and shared what she thinks was going on beneath the surface.

‘This was an important speech, possibly a career-defining speech for Ellen, and in some ways, it was enough of a masterpiece for her to be expecting Trump on speed-dial to ask for her help in the looming elections,’ Judi began.

‘The wording was careful. She began with two powerful words: “I learned…”, followed by the use of “We..we…we”, both of which diluted her involvement in the problem even though she took responsibility as the name on, as she put it, “the underwear”.  

‘She was sorry “if” she let someone down, and sooo sorry “if”  she hurt anyone’s feelings. She also described herself as a “work in progress”, picking impatience as one of her qualities that need working on.

‘She also pushed everything Ellen-based into context by doing a roll-call of bigger, world-changing problems like the pandemic, racial injustice and the fires raging through the US.’

Judi continued: ‘Ellen’s body language made it uncomfortable viewing and the whoop or relief as she finished and sat down to start the show was probably echoed by audiences around the world.

‘Ellen had dressed like a lay preacher, in a white jacket and an ethereal-looking white roll-neck and her hands even went into a “pray” gesture as she started her speech.

‘Her levels of awkwardness were hinted at in the way her right hand plucked at the hem of her jacket and the left performed some self-comfort rubbing rituals. That same hand kept grabbing at her own thigh during the “be kind” section.

‘Her most emphatic gesture was a chopping ritual with one hand chopping into the other, implying she would absolutely work on her own tendency to be impatient.’

Judi added: ‘In some ways though, Ellen steered the speech and her audience with some gestures that would have been mimicked by them.

‘She clapped her hands together at the start of her speech to announce the serious mood but she also led applause twice by clapping herself and her crew about “starting a new chapter”.

‘She later led her own applause when she clapped the 270 people working on the show.

‘When she went to sit down to start the interviews she held the arms of her chair and hovered in the air above it for a moment as though asking if she’d done enough to regain her normal position and re-start the popular show.

‘Once she finally sat to applause after hovering it did look as though – for her – the matter was effectively closed.’

The Ellen Show airs on NBC in the US.

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