3:05 PM PDT, May 12, 2021
Ellen DeGeneres is calling it quits on “The Ellen Show.” The talk show host confirmed Wednesday that next season — her 19th — will be the last.
“It’s just not a challenge anymore,” DeGeneres said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“Ellen really wanted to make sure that this announcement was done on her own terms. That was very clear from the way that this announcement was done. She didn’t interview. It didn’t leak. She was able to say in the interview that, ‘This was my decision. I wanted the show to end,’” senior Variety correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister told Inside Edition.
The news comes a year after DeGeneres was accused of turning a blind eye to a “toxic workplace” and “bullying” behind the scenes at her show.
“I learned that things happened that never should have happened,” DeGeneres said when the show resumed last September. “If I have let someone down, if I have ever hurt feelings — I am so sorry for that.”
But the allegations damaged her “be kind” reputations and ratings plummeted. She lost almost half her audience — more than a million viewers.
“It’s very clear that the show did take a hit. Ellen’s reputation took a hit. So it’s hard to take a look at this announcement without considering the allegations,” Wagmeister said.
“The Ellen Show” debuted in Sept. 2003 and quickly became a hit, drawing big stars and huge ratings. It won 61 daytime Emmy Awards over its 18 seasons.
DeGeneres says last summer’s allegations, “destroyed me, honestly. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t.”
Former “Ellen Show” producer Hedda Muskat told Inside Edition she left the show because of the toxic work environment.
“She did not deserve such a long run,” Muscat said. “She was a miserable person to work for. She brought a lot of stress and anxiety to the workplace. She allowed bullies to bully the employees, and it was no secret this was a toxic environment, literally from day 1.”
Wagmeister said that even with her reputation taking a hit after the allegations, “she is still on the top of her career.”
“And that’s probably why she wanted to leave the show while she did. If she takes a step back and takes a bit of a breather, she’ll be able to do whatever she wants to do,” Wagmeister said.