Ellen DeGeneres has announced her daytime talk show will soon end after 19 years, and has spoken at length about the misconduct allegations behind-the-scenes of the show.
The talk show host said she will wrap up her namesake show in 2022 after nearly two decades and over 3000 episodes.
Ellen explained, “When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore.”
Last year the show was rocked by allegations of misconduct and a toxic work environment that led to the sacking of three producers. The show’s ratings have recently dropped.
Ellen told The Hollywood Reporter the behind-the-scenes turmoil wasn’t the reason for her decision.
“If I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she said.
At first, Ellen recalled, “it was hard because I was sitting at home… I see a story that people have to chew gum before they talk to me and I’m like, ‘Okay, this is hilarious.’
“Then I see another story of some other ridiculous thing and then it just didn’t stop.
“And I wasn’t working, so I had no platform, and I didn’t want to address it on [Twitter]. I thought if I just don’t address it, it’s going to go away because it was all so stupid.
“With the talk show, all I cared about was spreading kindness and compassion, and everything I stand for was being attacked.
“So, it destroyed me, honestly. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.”
Sexual misconduct, harassment and racism allegations
However BuzzFeed subsequently published allegations by dozens of former employees against the show’s executive producers.
The accusers alleged sexual misconduct, harassment and a toxic workplace culture of racism, fear and intimidation.
In one example, a male producer allegedly groped and solicited lower-level male employees for sex, claims he denied.
WarnerMedia subsequently launched an internal investigation. Three top producers then left the show and Ellen apologised.
She was not accused of any wrongdoing herself. However those affected called on her to be accountable for her show.
Ellen told The Hollywood Reporter she first heard the allegations through the media.
“I care tremendously. It broke my heart when I learned that people here had anything other than a fantastic experience — that people were hurt in any way,” she said.
“I check in now as much as I can through Zoom to different departments. [I] make sure people know that if there’s ever a question or ever anything, they can come to me.
“I don’t know why that was never considered before. I’m not a scary person. I’m really easy to talk to.
“We’ve all learned from things that we didn’t realise — or I didn’t realise — were happening.
“I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be.”
Former employees react to Ellen DeGeneres ending show
Reacting to the announcement, former Ellen Show employees told Buzzfeed they welcomed the show’s axing.
One told the outlet they were “glad [the truth] finally came out” about the rampant behind-the-scenes misconduct.
Another explained, “People are like, ‘cancel culture,’ but no… I think this is ‘consequence culture’.
“This is a consequence of somebody and an institution that got away with fostering a super unhealthy and toxic work environment for a really long time.
“They made it look like they did all the right things, but it still wasn’t enough.
“It all comes out in the wash at the end. And you realize this is really what she deserves and what the show deserves.”
Another said, “If the ratings were still phenomenal [and] none of this stuff came out about the show, why wouldn’t she sign on for another five years like Oprah and do 25 years?
“If none of this came out, she’d still be going strong. Laughing all the way to the bank, and getting that daily applause.”
When the Ellen Show returned last year, Ellen said she was taking responsibility for the scandal and apologised to those affected.
“On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness,” she said last year.
“No one would ever raise their voice, and everyone would be treated with respect.
“Obviously, something changed, and I am disappointed to learn that this has not been the case.”
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