After 19 Seasons, Ellen DeGeneres Is Ending Her TV Show
Ellen DeGeneres, a staple of daytime American talk show culture, said Wednesday she is ending her show after 19 seasons.
The 63-year-old host, writer, producer, actress and comedian won dozens of Emmy awards for the show and has been a pioneer of the LGBTQ community in America since she came out as gay in 1997. That revelation shocked America and nearly doomed her career.
She insisted her decision to bring the curtain down on the daytime show named after her has nothing to do with allegations in the past year of a toxic workplace environment there, including bullying, racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
“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,” DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter.
When the complaints from staffers working on the show came out, DeGeneres acknowledged there were problems and pledged to do better.
“It almost impacted the show,” Ellen told the trade publication. “It was very hurtful to me. I mean, very. But if I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season.”
Timing her departure is something DeGeneres has openly wrestled with in the past. In a 2018 New York Times profile, she revealed that her actress wife, Portia de Rossi, had been encouraging her to move on from the 180-shows-a-year gig, while her comedian brother, along with executives at Warner Bros., had urged her to continue. In the end, DeGeneres signed on for three more seasons but was clear with herself and her team that this contract — which would take her well beyond 3,000 shows, and a stunning 2,400 celebrity interviews — would be her last.
On the heels of a series of personal swipes that DeGeneres says “destroyed” her, came a July BuzzFeed News expose detailing allegations of a toxic workplace. The latter, which DeGeneres says she learned about through the press, prompted an internal investigation and the dismissal of key executives.
The host, who’s built her brand on the motto “Be Kind,” opened season 18 in September with a lengthy apology, telling viewers, “I learned that things happen here that never should have happened. I take that very seriously. And I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected.”
While the mea culpa was widely viewed – Ellen’s highest-rated premiere in years, according to The New York Times.
DeGeneres is believed to have been considering ending the show for several years.
She is scheduled for a television interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday to talk about ending the program.
The final episode is scheduled for the spring of 2022.