‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ Is Over, What’s Next for Ellen DeGeneres?

by Taylor Cunningham

After nearly two decades on air, The Ellen DeGeneres Show came to a close on June 3rd. And now that the host has finalized her career-defining series, she’s moving on to new endeavors—completely offscreen.

With her Hollywood commitments behind her, Ellen DeGeneres and her wife Portia De Rossi have decided to focus on their passion project, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund (DFGF). Currently, the couple is in Rwanda celebrating the grand opening of the Ellen DeGeneres Campus located inside the Volcanoes National Park refuge.

Diane Fossey founded a research center in Rwanda’s Virunga mountains to both study and protect the endangered mountain gorillas in 1967. She has since grown her foundation to cover the national park. And she also added over 463 sq miles in the Congo.

DeGeneres has been following Fossey since she was 12 years old. So for her 60th birthday, her wife helped fund a campus in her name.

“[The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund] stuck with me, because over the years Ellen has met the most amazing people on earth, really. Yet the person who had the greatest impact on her was someone she never met, Dian Fossey. I didn’t want to get her another watch. I knew the show was ending,” Di Rossi told THR. “And I wanted her to be engaged in something else she loved. Plus, I wanted her to remember what was important to her when she was a kid.”

Spending Time in Rwanda Has Been Ellen Degeneres’ Plan Since Announcing the End of Her Talk Show

DFGF opened the campus in February of this year. But it didn’t mark the official opening until the namesake star was able to make it for the festivities.

“When Portia gave me this gift, there were 800 gorillas,” DeGeneres said. “And today there are around 1,100. So it’s really made a difference, bringing awareness. [My own firsthand experiences with gorilla trekking] reaffirmed everything that I had always wanted to do when I was a kid. Being next to them is life-changing.”

Inside, guests can go through several educational experiences. For example, they can watch the resident gorillas in the 360-degree Irmelin DiCaprio Theater, which was named after Leonardo DiCaprio’s mother. The campus also holds multiple classrooms and conference areas to host professors and world-renowned scientists.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia Di Rossi had been planning on spending more time at DFGF since DeGeneres decided to end her series. In fact, she publically announced her plans to move out of the spotlight in order to focus on the Gorillas during an interview last May.

“I’m opening up my campus in Rwanda next year,” she shared with THR. “And I want to be more involved with conservation and everything that matters to me as far as the environment and animals.