The talkshow designed “specifically for stars to charm and warm the hearts of Middle America” is pulling the plug after 19 seasons. Ellen DeGeneres confirmed the news today following a year-long stream of allegations of bullying on the set of her show.
DeGeneres, 63, recorded her first episode in 2003 and has since hosted more than three thousand shows. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres said her decision to call time stemmed from it not being “a challenge anymore”.
“When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged,” she said. “And as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, DeGeneres delivered the news to her staff on May 11 and plans to sit down with Oprah Winfrey in an exclusive interview to discuss the news.
Mike Darnell, the president ofWarner Bros.’ unscripted TV network told the publication that “…all good things must come to an end.”
“You still have hope that truly great things never will end,” he said. “It was an absolute phenomenon,” and the “premier destination for both superstars and incredible heartfelt human-interest stories.”
Last August, the first allegations of Degeneres’ show being a toxic workplace emerged, with rumours spreading that the 63-year old was ready to walk away from her show amid the PR crisis.
“She feels she can’t go on and the only way to recover her personal brand from this is to shut down the show,” a source close to the show said to The Daily Mail.
“The truth is she knew what was going on, it’s her show. The buck stops with her. She can blame every executive under the sun – but Ellen is ultimately the one to blame.”
Earlier this year, comedian Kevin T. Porter tweeted that DeGeneres was “notoriously one of the meanest people alive” — it went viral soon after and spurred hundreds of tweets from people detailing their negative experiences on the show.
In July last year, Buzzfeed published a report detailing former and current Ellen Show staff allegations about the environment behind the scenes of the show. Ten former and one current DeGeneres employee spoke anonymously describing a “toxic work environment” with a culture of “racism, fear and intimidation”.
“That ‘be kind’ bulls**t only happens when the cameras are on. It’s all for show,” one former employee said.
Soon after, the show become the subject of an internal investigation by WarnerMedia following numerous accounts of workplace problems, ending with the sacking of top producers Ed Glavin, Kevin Leman and Jonathan Norman.
Two months later in September, after her return to TV for season 18, DeGeneres addressed the allegations for the first time admitting she was a “work in progress” but told viewers that she is still “the person you see on TV”.
“As you may have heard this summer there were allegations of a toxic work environment at our show and then there was an investigation,” she said. “I learned that things happened here that never should’ve happened.”
“I take that very seriously, and I want to say I’m so sorry to the people who were affected. Sometimes I get sad. I get mad. I get anxious. I get frustrated. I get impatient. And I am working on all of that. I am a work in progress. And I am especially working on the impatience thing because … and it’s not going well because it’s not happening fast enough.”
This morning, Hedda Muskat, a former producer on The Ellen Show was interviewed by Nat Barr and David Koch on Channel Seven’s Sunrise to claim that while Ellen “loved kissing ass with celebrities”, she “despised” the non-famous guests Muskat would procure for the show and would make “snide remarks” about them.
“She really was not in a position to interview real people because she really couldn’t carry a conversation with them,” she said. She claimed her guests would often finish their interviews with Ellen “feeling like crap.”
“This is not ‘bah humbug’ on my end, because I just did my job and went home, but I feel that for the guests it was bad goodwill for them. They just really were not able to connect with her.”
“I’d like to see her work on a farm where she can relate with all of the animals and the pets and the dogs and the cows and the pigs because if you can relate to animals far more than she does with people,” she continued. “I was not able to have any connection with her, make any eye contact, and here is the thing: It’s not just me or three of us, there were over 100 employees over the 19 years that walked away with this sickened feeling about working there.
“As much as I loved my job as a booker and producer, I was almost relieved when I got fired… I wanted to take a shower, it was like a whole new dawn. I don’t feel like she has the trust anymore of the viewers, and so I don’t think she is going to come back anytime soon.”
The 63-year-old veteran host will host the 19th season of The Ellen DeGeneres Show before ending the series next year.