After more than 3,000 episodes, Ellen DeGeneres‘ daytime talk show is coming to an end.
The host revealed on Wednesday that the afternoon TV mainstay’s upcoming 19th season will be the last. The decision was made by DeGeneres and was apparently many years in the making; she told her staff on May 11, and will sit down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss it on her May 13 show.
Related: Twitter DRAGS Ellen For Revealing She Drove Under The Influence
In her statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Ellen shared:
“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.”
Hours before the big reveal, a source close to the gameshow host told DailyMail.com that DeGeneres was squashing the popular show because she “has had enough and told her team that she’s done.”
This, of course, comes after a year plagued with toxic work environment allegations, an internal investigation via WarnerMedia, the firing of many head staff (executive producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman, and co-executive producer Jonathan Norman), and rumors that the former sitcom star is truly a mean boss.
The source went on to reveal more BTS details about Ellen’s exit:
“She’s promised one more season after this one and will exit at the end of the 2021/2022 season – the 19th season of the show. The ratings have tanked and have been truly appalling this year and Ellen knows her time is up. The show has bled viewers since the toxic environment around Ellen and her show was made public.”
ICYMI, Portia de Rossi‘s wife finally addressed unfit workplace conditions in July with a letter to her staff. After months of exposés and rumors swirling, the following memo was released:
“Hey everybody – it’s Ellen. On day one of our show, I told everyone in our first meeting that The Ellen DeGeneres Show would be a place of happiness – 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. And for that, I am sorry. Anyone who knows me knows it’s the opposite of what I believe and what I hoped for our show.
I could not have the success I’ve had without all of your contributions. My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that. Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. 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.
I’m also learning that people who work with me and for me are speaking on my behalf and misrepresenting who I am and that has to stop. As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am, I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or – worse – disregarded. To think that any one of you felt that way is awful to me.
It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I’m glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It’s important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so.
I am so proud of the work we do and the fun and joy we all help put out in the world. I want everyone at home to love our show and I want everyone who makes it to love working on it. Again, I’m so sorry to anyone who didn’t have that experience. If not for COVID, I’d have done this in person, and I can’t wait to be back on our stage and see you all then.
Stay safe and healthy.
Read on for Ellen’s full Q&A with THR‘s Lacey Rose where she discusses her decision in detail, the serious allegations surrounding the show, and more:
Let’s start with the decision to end the show in 2022: Take me back to when you decided this would be it.
“I was going to stop after season 16. That was going to be my last season and they wanted to sign for four more years and I said I’d sign for maybe for one. They were saying there was no way to sign for one. “We can’t do that with the affiliates and the stations need more of a commitment.” So, we [settled] on three more years and I knew that would be my last. That’s been the plan all along. And everybody kept saying, even when I signed, “You know, that’s going to be 19, don’t you want to just go to 20? It’s a good number.” So is 19. [Laughs]”
And you never wavered?
“No. When we did our 3,000th show, they showed that highlights montage and everybody was emotional. We all hugged and everyone had tears in their eyes, and Mike Darnell was here going, “You really want to [end this]?” Look, it’s going to be really hard on the last day, but I also know it’s time. I’m a creative person, and when you’re a creative person you constantly need to be challenged, which is why I decided to host the Oscars or why I decided to go back to stand up when I didn’t think I would. I just needed something to challenge me. And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore. I need something new to challenge me.”
A few years ago, you’d said that Portia had been urging you to move on, while your brother was pushing you to stay. Did anyone, outside of Darnell, try to convince you one way or another this time around?
“Yeah. Obviously the producers … But you’re right, my brother was like, “People look forward to this show every day, and there aren’t many shows out there that are just pure joy like this.” He’s always been my biggest advocate and, not that Portia isn’t, but she’s also selfish and wants me to do things that I’m challenged by and she’s watched me come home every day saying, “I just feel like there’s something more I could be doing.” I care about the environment. I care about animals. I care about design and furniture … So, definitely people have been saying, “Why don’t we just try to go a little longer?” But 19 years is a long time to do anything.”
As you think about your future, we’ve seen you return to standup, we’ve also seen you hosting and narrating and producing. What will this move free you up to do that you haven’t had time to do?
“Look, I don’t even know the answer. I’ve been trying to think about that. I have some ideas but my agent is just like, “Why don’t you just sit still for a minute. You probably don’t even know how exhausted you are and what it’s going to be like to sit still.” And I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do that because I’m like a Ferrari in neutral. I’m constantly needing to go. So, that’s my first challenge and then I’m going to figure it out. I wouldn’t have thought I was ever going to do a talk show when I stopped doing movies and sitcoms. I thought that that was the only path. And then all of a sudden there was a talk show that took me on this 19-year journey.”
“Sit still for a bit” does not sound like the advice of a Hollywood agent…
“If you’re going to have an agent, [Eddy Yablans] is a good one to have. He cares tremendously about me, first and foremost, and money and career second, which is very rare.”
Would you consider returning to movies and sitcoms?
“A sitcom seems like a walk in the park compared to this, 180 shows a year. I don’t know if that’s really what I want to do next, but movies for sure. If there were a great role, I’d be able to do that, which I’m not able to do now. I’m opening up my campus in Rwanda next year and I want to be more involved with conservation and everything that matters to me as far as the environment and animals.”
There were pretty serious allegations waged last summer and some changes were made to your show. I’m curious how that chapter impacted you, the show and this decision?
“It almost impacted the show. 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. So, it’s not why I’m stopping but it was hard because I was sitting at home, it was summer, and 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] and I thought if I just don’t address it, it’s going to go away because it was all so stupid.”
But it very much didn’t go away…
“I became a comedian because I wanted to make people feel good. It started when I was 13-years-old, when my parents got divorced, and I wanted to make my mother happy. My whole being is about making people happy. And 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. And it makes me really sad that there’s so much joy out there from negativity. It’s a culture now where there are just mean people, and it’s so foreign to me that people get joy out of that. Then, on the heels of it, there are allegations of a toxic workplace and, unfortunately, I learned that through the press. And at first I didn’t believe it because I know how happy everybody is here and how every guest talks about, “Man, you have a great place here. Of all the talk shows I’ve done, everyone here is so happy.” That’s all I’ve ever heard. So, there was an internal investigation, obviously, and we learned some things but this culture we’re living is [is one where] no one can make mistakes. And I don’t want to generalize because there are some bad people out there and those people shouldn’t work again but, in general, the culture today is one where you can’t learn and grow, which is, as human beings, what we’re here to do. And I can see people looking at that going, “You don’t care about what people [went through.]” 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. I check in now as much as I can through Zoom to different departments and I make sure people know that if there’s ever a question or ever anything, they can come to me and I don’t know why that was never considered before. I’m not a scary person. I’m really easy to talk to. So, we’ve all learned from things that we didn’t realize — or I didn’t realize — were happening. I just want people to trust and know that I am who I appear to be.”
You mentioned that it almost impacted the show. What did you mean by that? Were there moments in there where you thought, “I don’t to want to come back to this”?
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was four solid months. And you have to understand, in that time, someone got into our house and robbed us and I lost four animals — three cats and a dog died. It was a tsunami. When it started, with that stupid “someone couldn’t look me in the eye” or whatever the first thing was, it’s like a crest of a wave. Like, “This isn’t going to be that big of a wave.” And then it just keeps getting bigger and bigger until it was out of control. And I really, honestly, felt like, “I don’t deserve this. I don’t need this. I know who I am. I’m a good person.” And I was sitting back going, “If I was someone watching this, I would think, ‘Well, there must be some truth to it because it’s not stopping.’” Of course they’re going to believe this because I’m not addressing it because I was told not to and you can imagine what that felt like. And it’s a lot to live up to. I started saying “be kind to one another” because I really believe people should be kind to one another and so it was easy clickbait to say, “Oh, the be kind lady isn’t so kind.” … I am kind, I’m also a woman and I’m a boss.”
As you start to think about wrapping up, what will you miss the most and the least about this platform?
“I will not miss hair and makeup every day. I’m not someone who loves to sit in a chair and have that done. And I will not miss fittings — if you gain one pound, the pants don’t fit you the way that they did two weeks ago, so that doesn’t feel good to have fittings. Those are the things I won’t miss. I’ll miss everything else. Listen, this is my family. They’ve become my best friends. I come to work and I laugh every single day. We create stuff that’s sometimes just funny to us and it’s not exactly mass appeal, but I don’t care ’cause it’s stuff that’s dry and quiet and it’s my humor and, you know, I’ve tried to stay true to who I am and what my brand is. This all became bigger than I ever could have dreamed of. I’m not the pretty girl who made it in Hollywood because of the way I looked. I worked from nothing to doing standup to to having this career and I’m so proud of this show. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. And so I’ll miss everything but, in my gut, I know it’s time to do something different.”
You’re going to sit down with Oprah, who’s been in your shoes. What do you want to ask her about ending this chapter and starting a new one?
“First of all, she wears, like, Louis Vuitton heels. She’s not been in my shoes — she’d be a lot more comfortable if she was in my shoes. [Laughs] No, we’re friends and we’ve talked about how hard this is. I haven’t asked her advice yet but I’m sure she’s going to say exactly what my agent did, “Sit still for a while and figure it out.” But look at her. She stopped and she didn’t have to do anything again and she’s done a tremendous amount since then. So, I don’t look at this as the end at all. It’s the start of a new chapter and hopefully my fans will go with me wherever I go. That being said, if I never do anything else ever again, I’m so proud of what this show stood for and still stands for and what we’ve made it through.”
I know you have a show to do but is there anything that I haven’t asked that you wished I had?
“No, what you asked is what people are curious about. And maybe I’m too brutally honest. That’s one thing any of my friends will tell you, I am honest to a fault and I will tell you how I feel. It’s probably best that I didn’t address this last summer because I was so hurt and so angry. But when I can be my higher self and look [back] at it, I know it all of that happened for me to grow. When I came out [in 1997] and was so publicly attacked during that time, it also really destroyed me, but then I got stronger and I learned and grew from it. But people always say you have to have thick skin to be in this business and I’ve never gotten that. I have very thin skin and things affect me, and I’m proud of that. Like, I love that I’m emotional and I still care what people think and say about me, to a degree. At the same time, you have to learn from it, too.”
So, what have you learned?
“Well, you realize that every single encounter means something. And if, for whatever reason, one day I wasn’t dancing when I’m in the dry cleaners or I didn’t smile at somebody, it’s like, “Oh, did that affect somebody? Was that what they meant?” And I don’t know but I know that I’m just a person with a lot of different emotions and I struggle with depression and with anxiety. So, every day I’m not super smiley, but my intention is never to hurt anyone. And I’ve also looked at it, going, “Okay, can I be more present because this one-minute encounter is going to impact somebody in a certain way.”
As you explored in your Netflix special, being the “Be Kind” lady who’s always dancing has its drawbacks…
“I remember years and years ago, my girlfriend at the time and I were taking our dog to be put down. We’re crying as we bring our dog in and this woman was so excited to see me and she wants me to say something funny and I’m like, my dog is dying. It was just the most awkward situation but that’s the extreme of what I’m talking about. And I did address it in my standup special. Like, I can’t honk my horn at anybody. God forbid someone cuts me off. No, they got to look at me dancing. Anyway, that’s the reality of all of it and I have to look at every single thing as a lesson and throw away the stuff that I know I can’t control.”
So there you have it, folks. One final season to watch The Ellen Show. At least we still have Kelly Clarkson, Drew Barrymore, Wendy Williams, and others to fill voids!
Are you shocked by this news?! SOUND OFF in the comments (below) with thoughts!
[Image via Warner Bros/Ellen Show YouTube]
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