Ellen DeGeneres has decided to cancel her long-running talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show after 19 seasons. The show will end in 2022, after the 19th season wraps.
“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.
Several have questioned whether the decision to end the show is related to accusations that DeGeneres ran a toxic workplace environment. These originally accusations surfaced last summer.
Former employees of DeGeneres’ show began speaking out in summer 2020, shedding light on some poor experiences they faced, such as firings after taking medical leave, racist comments and being told to not speak directly to DeGeneres.
Around the same time, former staff from DeGeneres’ home even shared details of mistreatment they faced under her personal employ. “Sometimes she would yell at us but it was more about the incredibly condescending tone she would use,” a former employee had shared.
DeGeneres publicly addressed the accusations against her, and apologized for the mistreatment that many workers had faced.
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.”
More recently, DeGeneres told The Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t know how I could have known when there’s 255 employees here and there are a lot of different buildings, unless I literally stayed here until that last person went home at night.
“It is my name on the show, so clearly it affects me and I have to be the one to stand up and say, ‘This can’t be tolerated.’ But I do wish someone would have come to me and said, ‘Hey, something’s going on that you should know about.’”
Still, DeGeneres ensures the public that the decision to end The Ellen Show is not related to these toxic workplace accusations.
“If I was quitting the show because of that, I wouldn’t have come back this season,” she added in her discussion with The Hollywood Reporter.
DeGeneres made the decision to end the show as her own career move – despite her producers and show executives at Warner Bros. asking her to stay on.
She also revealed that she had been considering ending the show for years. “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.”
DeGeneres started the syndicated television talk show in 2003, after already receiving fame for her comedy and stand-up career.
She starred in her own sitcom, called Ellen, on ABC from 1994 to 1998. The show centered on DeGeneres, her friends and her everyday life in Los Angeles. The series was the first in the US to have the main character come out as gay, which happened in an episode that aired shortly after DeGeneres came out publicly in real life.
DeGeneres has not said yet whether her next challenge will remain in the television world, or if she plans to return to film acting or stand-up comedy, as she has done in the past.