After a recent run that saw the daytime talk show take a ratings hit and allegations of a toxic work environment leveled at its host, The Ellen Show will be shuffling off the programming coil after its upcoming 19th season. Host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres says the decision was years in the making and that she was looking to move on to other projects and challenges, including film. "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 revealed to The Hollywood Reporter exclusively, with more to be revealed during a conversation with Oprah Winfrey on DeGeneres's May 13th show. "Although all good things must come to an end, you still have hope that truly great things never will," said Warner Bros.' Unscripted TV President Mike Darnell. "While we are disappointed, we are extremely supportive of Ellen's decision to end her show next season," Warner Bros. TV Group Chairman Channing Dungey said. "Ellen once said that all she ever wanted to do was make people feel good and laugh, and she has accomplished that and so much more."
Also in the THR interview, DeGeneres was asked about last summer's BuzzFeed News expose that included allegations of a toxic workplace- allegations DeGeneres claims she learned from the press. Here's a look at the talk show host's response, which includes addressing if it was the reason she was ending her show as well as what she learned from it. "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," DeGeneres explained.
But it didn't, and that's where DeGeneres offers a further explanation that appears to push the blame to "the culture today" which apparently "is one where you can't learn and grow" filled with "mean people." Here's a look at the full response:
"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."