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Ellen DeGeneres Show to end after 19 seasons following ‘toxic workplace’ claims

·3-min read
Ellen DeGeneres at the Grammy Awards on 26 January 2020 in Los Angeles (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
Ellen DeGeneres at the Grammy Awards on 26 January 2020 in Los Angeles (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The Ellen DeGeneres Show is ending, the daytime host has announced.

Ellen DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter that the programme’s 19th season will be its last. It’s currently in its 18th instalment, meaning the show is expected to conclude in 2022.

“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,” she told the publication, which ran the announcement on Wednesday.

DeGeneres will further discuss the move with Oprah Winfrey in a special episode of her show on 13 May. According to The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres’s decision is believed to have been several years in the making.

Staffers on the show were reportedly informed of the decision on Tuesday (11 May).

The Ellen DeGeneres Show was the subject of an investigation last year over allegations of a toxic work environment. Numerous staff members, both currently and previously employed by the show, made allegations of sexual misconduct, racism and bullying taking place. DeGeneres was also at the centre of unverified allegations about her off-camera behaviour, from demanding that people should not look her in the eye, to having a real-life personality that seemed to clash with her on-camera persona.

DeGeneres revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the claims had previously made her want to quit the show, and that they were part of a “tsunami” of bad news that affected her last year – including a home robbery and the deaths of four of her animals.

“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,” she explained. “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.’”

‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ was the subject of allegations over a toxic work environmentAFP via Getty Images
‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ was the subject of allegations over a toxic work environmentAFP via Getty Images

DeGeneres added that she understood if people believed there was some truth to the allegations.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

Last September, following months of negative headlines, DeGeneres addressed the brewing scandal during the first episode of her show’s 18th season. She told her audience that an investigation had revealed “things happened” on the set “that never should have happened” and vowed to fix the show’s behind-the-scenes issues.

“I know that I am in a position of privilege and power and I realise that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show,” she said.

In March, it was reported that the show had lost more than a million viewers in a year, while unverified reports claimed that the programme was struggling to book high-profile guests in the wake of the scandal.

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