After 18 seasons, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is coming to an end, according to reports published today. The upcoming season 19 will be the very last.
Ellen DeGeneres has been hosting the daily talk show since 2003. Before that, she was the star of her own sitcom called “Ellen” from 1994 to 1998. For nearly two decades, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has pretty much dominated all of her time and energy.
Ellen DeGeneres Cancels Show
Now, she’s looking to let go of the daily talk show and move on to something new. Her show was the subject of a lot of controversy throughout 2020. DeGeneres was investigated for a hostile workplace and many people called her out for alleged harassment toward staff members. Staff members cited racism, bullying, and sexual misconduct behind the scenes of it all. After the investigation, three senior staff members left the show and DeGeneres issued an apology. Part of which said she wanted a workplace where “everyone would be treated with respect.”
That workplace is instead vanishing completely. DeGeneres has said that this decision has actually been several years in the making. On May 13, DeGeneres will sit down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss the big news.
“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 said to The Hollywood Reporter.
Many people on social media are interpreting that quote from Ellen in different ways. One person wrote, “Not being allowed to berate staff took the challenge away.” Another person wrote, “When you stop doing a thing that was always vanilla and blame it on not being a challenge.”
A Decision Years in the Making
Although DeGeneres is citing different reasons for the end of the show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has seen a massive drop in ratings and viewers following all the reputation-impacting controversy.
Ellen DeGeneres had considered leaving the show in the past. In 2018, she revealed that her wife, Portia de Rossi, had wanted her to move on from the show that dominates her attention 180 days of the year. Warner Bros. and her brother had encouraged her to sign onto three more seasons, according to The New York Times.
Buzzfeed had initially published the article detailing all the toxic workplace allegations. DeGeneres claimed she learned about these claims through the article. The show, and its host, are popular for charitable donations and giveaways. The show has given about $70 million in charitable donations and $300 million to audience members. This generosity clashed sourly with the claims of extreme workplace toxicity. According to The Independent, there were claims that people couldn’t look her in the eye and other allegations that her personality was nothing like her on-screen persona.
Despite many Hollywood stars still appearing, the show quickly tanked in viewers and rankings.
Since she is citing needing a challenge, what is DeGeneres’ plan after the show is over? She told The Hollywood Reporter that she might just take it easy for a bit.
“I have some ideas but my agent is just like, ‘Why don’t you just sit still for a minute. You probably don’t even know how exhausted you are and what it’s going to be like to sit still.’ And I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do that because I’m like a Ferrari in neutral. I’m constantly needing to go. So, that’s my first challenge and then I’m going to figure it out. I wouldn’t have thought I was ever going to do a talk show when I stopped doing movies and sitcoms. I thought that that was the only path. And then all of a sudden there was a talk show that took me on this 19-year journey,” DeGeneres said.